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Showing posts from February, 2009

I don't know how to title this; I'll go with: "Signs"

It is Friday. I'm in South Bend to look at houses. It is three months after my interview at Notre Dame.

I checked in and walked to my hotel room a few minutes ago. I passed by the hotel dining room, and heard a girl crying and talking in an anguished tone. I glanced over, and some girls were sitting in rows there, looking at a woman at the front of the room.

I imagined saving teen girls from drugs or the devil in general workshop/weekend. I went back to my business, and then remembered all the tennis racket bags on the floor by the front door. I remembered the lady I greeted as I waited at reception; Polish, a mother of a UNC player, here from Carmel IN; oh, they lost. That is why the mother is waiting, that is why the girl is crying. This makes much more sense, this is familiar. The scene is comforting.

I'm in the right place; I'm on the right side.

Maybe you see yourself in this. The tenderness of a memory of yourself as younger, and the satisfaction of the present tense.

Homemade Soup (Dissertation excerpt)

I like publishing on this blog the sections of my dissertation that I know will have to be cut. I especially like the voice I found for writing this more reflective part and I really like returning to a place I love as I read this. Enjoy.

“Coming to Zagreb to study display cabinets (vitrina) is like going to Saudi Arabia to study sand.” That is how my friend Dalibor N. gave me his approval of my fieldwork while we were watching people at a cafĂ© on Flowers Square, one Zagreb Saturday morning. Every aspect of the vitrina in your mother’s or grandmother’s home calls up scenes in the mind’s eye and evokes feelings. The vitrina is the backdrop for silence of the room, the apartment, the building, the neighborhood, the city, Sunday from 2pm to 5pm. You, your family, your neighbors, your friends: everyone is at home, it is time for lunch. In the living room, in the apartment building, in the neighborhood, in the city, in the suburb: silence. At least there are some sounds in the house. The w…

Random Photos: bumper stickers

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Bumper sticker in the parking lot of Schnuck's, Urbana, IL, today...

First time I've ever seen this message or campaign. Interesting.

Breakfast for Dinner

There is one correct breakfast: egg boiled for 5 minutes, toast, coffee (tea is also ok).
Bacon at breakfast: a way to suspend the start of the day.
Breakfast for dinner: I can't put anything else together, so I'm making luxuries (pancakes), especially meaningful since the alternative is usually not a luxurious food (pasta with olive oil, good but not a luxury).
Cereal? Grains in such a form is food for a chicken or pig. Although I think oatmeal is a nice mid-morning snack.

Movie Review: The Wackness (2008)

The Wackness (2008) is a good movie. I know because I watched it. I also know I saw myself in the characters in the movie. When I was in high school, graduating in 1991, my boyfriend was from Brooklyn. The main character reminds me of him. The Wackness is a coming-of-age story. What makes it a coming-of-age story? His heart is broken by Stef, his girl, his best friendship and best relationship is with a person whom we would not expect, and he is more grown-up than his parents.

Oh, and the music is great. It captures the moments in the film. It also captures the period. East Coast hip-hop. Something entirely new. A new sound, a new generation. No, not the first one that grew up with immature parents, or heartache, and so on. But there was something about that period that I remember. I remember how unique it was.

If you were born in 1991...

Today in class, I asked the students when they were born (1991). I asked them what were the influences on their years in high school:

Columbine (high school shootings across the US)
Oklahoma City attack
9/11
Reality TV
Boy bands (Hanson)
Britney Spears
Bill Clinton

That's a lot of violence to experience, at the individual and societal levels. Pop culture goes very low culture. Lots of attention on teens to make it big. President defines standards for men's responsibility, activity, in sex and relationships.

I'm Gen X. Our worries were more along the lines of nuclear war destroying humanity, pot, stds. Much less violence. Much less pressure to make it. I wouldn't say we didn't have "real" problems, or we didn't know how good we had it, although that is tempting. I'm stunned, though, at the violence Gen Y faced as high school students. It is very foreign to my experience.

The Snuggie

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Today's post falls is a photo of an in-store display of the Snuggie at my local Wallgreen's. It falls in the category of posting photos of things I see when I'm out shopping...

There is a back story to the Snuggie, will fill out the rest of the post soon...