Saturday, June 09, 2012

The Ocean Blue

I've been sitting here for a few hours working on my Master's Thesis.  It's hard to understand how difficult it used to be to tell the world about your passions, things that piss you off, things you want to see changed.  Consider women in the early twentieth century.  They barely had the right to vote but some of them were really able to make changes by using "social media" of the day:  art and literature.

We have it so easy now.  We just go to our computer or pick up our "smart phone" and start writing.  That quickly it's published to the world.  I was reading one such publication earlier about the World's Ocean Day.  My comment to that article was about a recent visit to an art festival in my town that is held every year over Memorial Day weekend near the Susquehanna River.  This festival brings a lot of people to town, quite a few from way out of town actually.  It's centered around the river.  The festival generates a lot of trash since there are food vendors, etc.  People who don't think about recycling just pitch the trash in whatever receptacle is nearby.  That is, if it makes it there.  I noticed many people just leaving their trash were they consumed what was in it.  How lazy is that?  In addition to that, a storm came in with a lot of wind. While waiting out the storm, I couldn't stop thinking about where all that trash was going to end the river and ultimately in the ocean.

Do you know about The Great Pacific Garbage Patch?  I find it interesting nature's attempt at keeping the garbage in certain areas and even away from people for the most part.  Nature can only do so much.  The thought of all this crap floating around the ocean just disgusts me.  People are selfish and lazy and when I talk to people about recycling and doing things differently they say "who cares?"  "Me doing this one little thing isn't going to make a difference."  If everyone says that, no it won't.  If we all say "I can make a difference by changing this one little thing" it will make a HUGE difference.  Please do your part. 

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Things Remembered

I was reading a friends Facebook page where he had posted a song that he sings to his son to put him to sleep.  It's not a lullaby or even a child's song, but a song by Brian Eno.  I got to thinking about being sung to sleep as a child.  It may have happened but I don't remember.  I do remember, however, singing, with my dad as a kid. 

Generally the singing would happen on a road-trip somewhere.  Generally they were Christmas Carol's that were sung too.  My dad could not carry a tune to save his life.  My mom on the other had was an accomplished, even semi-professional singer.  So, of course our singing was pretty unpleasant to her, I'm sure.

I was recently on a nature walk in northern Dauphin County.   I don't want to call it a hike, because it was pretty flat and was a cleared path owned by the Game Commission.  A hike to me equals some sort of physical strain, getting smacked in the face with branches, poison ivy, etc. This walk followed along Stony Creek.  This is a place my dad would take me fishing when I was a kid.  Now, fishing as/with a kid usually resulted in "hey, I think I got something!"  Um, no, you have your hook stuck in the tree/rock/shirt, etc.  I would often come home with Box Turtles that I would keep for about a week in the cellar window well.  Then my dad would return him from where he came from.  There would be snake sightings as well where my dad would quietly point out a Black Snake sunning himself which usually resulted in a shrill scream from me and the snake taking off like a shot.  Sometimes I would see a snake on my own, when I ventured out to "use the facilities?"  I would quietly come (running) back, having NOT used "the facilities."

While on this recent walk in the woods, I left the path to walk down by the creek.  I could hear it from the path but couldn't see it through the woods.  Finally I saw it, a bend in the creek some water rushing over rocks, and a sandy shore. Suddenly I had the overwhelming feeling I had been there before.  I thought there would be no way of knowing if I had been to that exact spot in the past, maybe with my dad.  The woods do seem to all start to look the same since there are no real landmarks.  I did lose my way trying to get back up to the path.  Kind of scary for a moment. 

It was kind of nice being in the presence of my dad again, down by the sandy shore, even though my dad was only there in spirit.  I miss those days of hanging out with him and discovering a new creature, the excitement of catching a fish...or rock...or tree.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


For those two (or possibly three) of you that check back here periodically and usually find that I STILL haven't updated my blog are probably pleasantly surprised today. 

Much of the delay in writing this time around is because I'm working on writing my Master's Thesis.  This will undoubtedly be the longest thing I've ever written at about 50 pages or so.  I hope to even have more.  As of this time I've written 19 pages and have a lot of editing already so it may be cut down to 15. 

I was hoping to have this monster under wraps for a May graduation but I'm going to need more time and so it seems December 2012 is when I'll be walking across the stage to get my diploma.  Then I wonder, should I even bother walking the stage.  I mean I'll get to wear that really cool "hood" which I'll undoubtedly need for when I'm a professor at a college and have to attend other graduations. I just don't know. 

The pleasant weekend weather does not help the writing process either.  It's no fun being chained in front of the computer when the sun is out and the temps are up and there's yard work to be done.  Fortunately today didn't start off with sunshine so I'm writing....not my thesis but I'm writing!

I think the thing I find most frustrating about this writing process is the editing.  You know when the professor hands back a paper with arrows and question marks and squiggly lines all over it when you are 100% sure the paper you turned in was concise and required no changes.  I think I can officially scratch off being a professional writer from my list of things I want to do when I grow up and it's all editing's fault.

I think I'll shampoo the carpet. 

Thursday, September 08, 2011

And We All Float On

The day the "For Sale" sign went up in the front yard was like a kick in the stomach.  I thought, well they say the market is slow so maybe it'll be a while till it sells.  It wasn't a while.  It was a few short months.  Next week I will have to say goodbye to a neighbor that has been with my family through it all.

First my parents moved to the neighborhood in 1963, then I was born a few years later.  Then, I moved out only to move back in a few short years later upon the death of my parents.  We've shared food, picnics, and general neighborly love.

I'll never forget the day in November when Mr. Gable knocked on my door to tell me his wife had died and he broke down in tears.  Next week at this time, he will have left his life long home to move cross country to live with his daughter and son-in-law.

The weirdest thing is that I probably will never see him again.  It'll be like a death but he will not have died.

I had a farewell dinner for him last Sunday.  My family and some other neighbors joined in.  I think he was really touched.  I hope he was.  He is probably one of the nicest people you ever want to meet.  Soft-spoken, even tempered, adored his wife.

I used to love to hear them talk about how they met here in Harrisburg back in the 40's.  There were dance halls and he used the line that he was related to Clark Gable as a way to talk to her.  He bought himself a bike at 70 and would ride over to the community pool for a swim in the summer.  She made the best pirogi! 

I can't imagine what it must be like to see your entire house full of memories emptied before your eyes in a matter of weeks, saying goodbye to your barber, neighbors, church friends.  All of whom you have known for many years. 

You always hear people say "it's tough getting old."  The reality is we have no idea how tough it really is, until we live it.  And we'll all float on, alright.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Thought I lost touch with my old buddy Graven Images for a minute.  Somehow I figured it out.  I guess that'll teach me to ignore my blog for three months.  All this right after I give a professor my blog address to check out the very intellectual and stimulating conversations that go on out here.  (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)

I guess I can say that the ball has been put into motion for this final undertaking on my Master's Degree.  I have an idea (I think) but not a very concise one.  I understand I may also need to learn how to create a website in the next few months.  Luckily, I think there is software that will allow me to just plug in information without having to learn to write code.  (yikes)

I think also, it might be nice to use this blog as documentation on the progress of my project.  I don't think that would be too boring and it would give me an excuse to keep this thing updated!! 

Monday, March 07, 2011

Mamma Needs A New Pair of Shoes

My new dilemma along with all my old dilemmas is what do to with old shoes.  I have no trouble deciding what to do with clothing that's outdated and worn out.  Well, my clothes don't really get worn out.  They're more out of style or "I've had that skirt for a million years it needs to go."

Shoes are a different sort of problem.  They're beaten up, and worn (some severely) as I tend to be very hard on shoes but there aren't any holes in them, the soles aren't worn out either.  They have just had it. 

The dilemma comes in when I wonder what to do with them.  I feel badly for pitching them in the trash, because really, there's not much wrong with them.  I can't donate them to the Salvation Army or Goodwill because they'll probably just pitch them in the trash because they are too worn. 

Then I think if a person in need or a homeless person wouldn't even wear these shoes, why on earth am I holding on to them or (God forbid) still wearing them?!?

And so it goes on....

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Get Out of Jail Free Card

The great debate in my mind today is how easy it is for the general public to forgive and forget the crimes people commit when they are famous, particularly sports stars. 

I've recently noticed some friends jumping on the bandwagon cheering on Michael Vick because he plays for their favorite team and he was voted "Come Back Player of the Year."   Um, so?? 

Some others argue that he's paid his debt to society by doing his time in jail.  To which I say, he intentionally and his own profit, tortured, killed and maimed animals.  What on earth could jail have done for him?  What did he do to repay society while he was in jail?  Community service?  Perhaps.  Donate money to some organization?  Who cares?  He's got banks full of money now he's out making more of it.

How despicable does a person have to be to not be tolerated in society any longer?  Should Charles Manson have gone out for a sport?  I mean, doesn't he deserve a break?  Hasn't he repaid his debt to society too?