Last week I watched a short video designed by social scientists and brought to life by professional actors. Scene one was a guy in his 20s trying to cut a lock off a bicycle in a public park. Dozens of people passed by, but few paid him any attention. A couple asked “Is that your bike?” and each time he said, “No.” They kept going,
I gained an interesting perspective when I listened to two books by Chris Bohjalian back to back. I’ve been a fan since his 1998 “Midwives,” but for some reason his 2008 “Skeletons at the Feast” (Random House, 10 CDs, 12 hours) kept sliding to the bottom of my pile. Why? I suspected it might be a tough listen given Bohjalian’s emotive writing. Whatever subject he tackles, he develops characters you care about quickly. And when you’ve just begun to know their inner and outer terrains, he places them in difficult situations. The fact that “Skeletons” was about WWII insured intensity.
Cast: Her - adorable, perky, around 22 yrs. old, around 110 lbs.;
Me - not.
Her: Hi! (brilliant smile and all exclamation points) Welcome to “We-Have-Absolutely-Nothing-You-Could-Fit-Into”! Are you shopping for your daughter today?
Today I walked over to look at “Silent Sam,” the statue of a Confederate soldier that stands at the north end of McCorkle Place on the UNC campus.
I’m sure my readers have noticed that I’m totally up for wading into the serious issues. I call ’em as I see ’em, no holds barred, tackling the tough questions and usually coming up with brilliant solutions. However, the issue with which I must deal today is pushing me perilously close to the edge, as I’ve just returned from a trip to Food Lion. That topic, my friends, is plastic grocery bags.
In my adolescence, I was decidedly unpopular. If I hadn’t known it before, I certainly did when, at age 10, my best friend told me, “You’re the most hated kid in the sixth grade.”
I read a newspaper column recently that bemoaned the … uh … slutaciousness of the clothing on young girls nowadays, and I was thrilled that someone out there is actually awake! And, upon this subject I must expand.
I’ve been grumpy lately, and have blamed it on the weather.
Until this week, it has been too cold, too gray, too windy and too wet. The weather has also been too unreliable … with promised sunny days that were obliterated by clouds before the coffee was done.
I am not alone in this grousing. I have heard others moan about doused plans, soggy grass and frostbitten plants. I’ve heard exasperated sighs when we pull on wool socks yet again and curses when cold rain rolled in on yet another weekend.
Americans are generous people. We are quick to reach into our pockets to help those in need. Local tragedies have caused us to respond with huge donations. The Boston Marathon attack, which produced numerous injuries and three deaths, has caused us to quickly donate large amounts of money. It dominated the news for several days, it was the main topic of talk shows and is still in the news.
However, our generosity wanes when a tragedy is far away from our shores.
My daughter, Louise, called yesterday. She sounded fed up and exhausted, but then she’s a wife and mother of three, so that’s her natural state. Georgie had been coughting for days and had a come-and-go fever, Gracie had the diaper rash from hell, and Charlie apparently has no idea how to entertain himself!
When I was young I had two guilty pleasures: cinnamon toast and reading. I was a fat kid, so the first was supposed to be off limits. But when I got home from school and found my family out on errands I’d eye the gleaming silver toaster and the soft golden butter beside it.
Remember, although I adore making you chuckle, I occasionally must rant! Like today, I – and multitudes of others like me – would like to know when, in this country, it became prohibited to speak the truth, for fear of “offending” someone? When did it become wrong, somehow, to state facts? When did it develop that making judgments branded one as “judgmental”?
Women are a sturdy lot, and most of us are able to handle what life hurls at us...and hurl it does, my friend. In things that really matter, we are stronger than men in so many ways. (I had my gallbladder out and was teaching again in five days. My Dad and my son-in-law both had theirs out, and even after two weeks you would have thought that no one on the planet had ever been in pain of this magnitude in the history of mankind...and, of course, if men had to accomplish childbirth, well, mankind would be wiped out in a matter of weeks, anyway.)
In recent months, I’ve listened to two remarkable audios, Matthew Dick’s “Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend” and Clare Vanderpool’s “Navigating Early.” These two very different books find commonality in that each has one character with Asperger’s syndrome – which is often considered a high-functioning form of autism – and a second who gains a unique view of the world because of the unusual perceptions. Despite marketing, both will speak to young adult listeners.
Latest in Stupid Criminal News: A man was sentenced last week after a one-night crime spree last November. It seems the man had planned just a tad too much fun for one day, when he was found asleep in the third – yes, third – apartment he’d broken into ... in the same night ... in the same apartment complex.