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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Familiar Stomping grounds

Hm, cliche as it is to say, the days do fly, don't they?

I have safely arrived in Paris, and am moving on to Tiny Coastal Village, Bretagne, in just a few days, where I will be teaching.

Okay, mind pile of mush. Still jet-lagged and goofy. Thought had made a mistake yesterday, but ate a chocolate pastry and bought a book today, and so, obviously, feel worlds better.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Benjamin Franklin started the 2nd one, not the first one

As I mentioned two posts back, last saturday I attended a concert that was designed to simulate an Ipod set to shuffle; the "Philly Song Shuffle." As expected, it was equal parts lameness and awesomeness. Besides biting off Apple (oh, that's funny, I didn't think about the pun), the concept of the show was pretty original (life imitating art imitating life! Ahhhh!) with each artist playing just one song as another artist set up his kit to play just one song creating a continuous stream of live music.

There were 50 artists that played and while all were 'decent' to 'good' musicians, I found it astounding how many people in the Philly area alone believe themselves to be adequate lyricists. I'm estimating that only 10% of the people we heard, did not get an enormous, sarcastic eye-roll from the boyfriend or I. (And that 10% was solid. Those were some truly talented people we heard) So, 90%--utter crap. Yes, okay, they were not professionals, nor did they get financially compensated for their time, but it leaves you wondering if some of these people have friends.

It was as if they filled in a page from "Madlibs: The Break-Up Edition" and set it to music, only instead of witty, fresh verbs, nouns and adjectives, they just kept writing "leave," "baby," and "cool." Ick. There's just only so many times you can listen to yet another awkward college freshman awkwardly warble a two-chord song about her awkward first sexual encounter without having to order another G and T, please. Of course, I am by no means a lyricist and even less so a musician of any sort. However, I did pay admission to the show...

Oh, I almost forgot. I also went to the zoo on Wednesday. The zoo is not my favorite place. It always seems hot and humid, and smells of ape poo, and the whole schtick just seems like an elaborate scheme to get you to buy an adorable, over-priced plush jaguar the proceeds of which they claim will save the rainforest. But, apparently the Philadelphia Zoological Society is super-big and important and gets all their endangered animals to mate etc, etc, so one is supposed to go. I ended up spending more time in front of and taking pictures with the little out-door collection of prarie dogs than anything else. (Okay, and the chameleon. Chameleon! Why are your feet so ridiculous?!) And when I got home my dad was all, Prarie dogs? Really? You know they have those in Kansas, right? Not giraffes or okapis or pythons? Just prarie dogs?

Whatever, I know he likes the chameleon just as much as I do.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Go USA

I like seeing evidence that Americans everywhere are still making a big deal about today, seven years after the fact. It reminds me that despite what the media fobs off on us as a truthful representation of the state of the world, there are some people somewhere who might actually have an accurate sense of the direction in which this world is headed.

Friday, September 5, 2008

So good, yo’ tongue gonna jump up and smack yo’ brain out

I think that the last time I visited Savannah, I must’ve seriously underestimated the heat. Inexplicably, the fact that I wore a tank top on the beach at Thanksgiving was not enough to convince me of what my brother has been insisting for these 3 years: Lucifer himself would feel quite comfy in Georgia. (cue that folksy fiddle tune referencing the devil and Georgia…)

What was meant to be a weekend spent helping the older brother move out of his Sweet Historic- District Pad, turned into me mostly laying around in the air-conditioning, and then loudly protesting and walking hunched over, arms hanging limply by sides whenever asked to go out to retrieve a screwdriver or similar from car. (Luckily, my mother fuels herself on a steady diet of coffee and crystal meth so she was able to pick up the slack. You think I’m kidding.) I’m pretty useless in hot weather (okay, and cold), so it’s futile during the summer to ask me to do anything beyond getting up to put pants on so I can lie down again. And that’s just me in normal summer temperatures, which do not actually exist in Georgia. The heat and humidity are so high, they actually weigh you down and make it difficult to breathe. I’m pretty sure in a few years they will discover that Savannah is not in Georgia at all, but actually at the center of the Earth. What really astounds me is that no one really seems to notice. People were walking about in normal summer attire- some even in PANTS!- always fully clothed, and never naked (as I had tried…) getting the mail, drinking coffee, working (?!) I could hardly be persuaded to pull on a swim suit (excruciating!), drive out to the beach , and lie around for the afternoon on Saturday with my mom, to take a break from the weekend of packing.

Speaking of which, I didn’t realize how jaded I had become about the beach just from growing up in a Mid-Atlantic state. The shore of choice for the Philadelphian is, obviously, New Jersey. For those who do not frequent North Eastern beaches, the Atlantic up here is Arctic. In August. So, when I stepped into the Atlantic alllll the way down south, at Tybee Island, and did not instantly get hypothermia, I was flooded with an unfamiliar sensation. One that confused me and that I could not quite vocalize until I looked over at my Ma (who spent her childhood swimming in Lake Eerie) bobbing next to me and she said with a little resignation in her voice, wrinkling her nose, “It’s, um, nice, isn’t it.” With ‘nice’ said in such a tone as if to indicate that anyone can like a beach where the water is bath-temperature, but it takes real class and determination to voluntarily drive back to a beach every summer that gives you frozen-foot.

Besides the beach, (and sleeping on a ridge rest, laid over banana boxes after they gave away the reclining chair I had been sleeping on )the other highlight of this very fast and fatiguing weekend of packing and cleaning, was the barbeque we had on Saturday night. My brother took us to this actual hole in the wall place called Angel’s, and over mouthfuls of sloppy barbeque and the sound of old-school punk music blaring from the speakers, we debated two things: does the mild-mannered, tattooed owner of this establishment have the best job ever (yes, his job is to get up in the morning, and then make sauces. Bam, coolest job right there. Makin’ sauces.) and, What is the point of that clear plastic bag of water hanging over the doorway? (we came up with something like, “De fly, he see de debil in de waduh. You no see de debil, but de fly, he see de debil. An’ he stay away….” etc. Oh, yay, homespun Southern wisdom.)
Okay, this post is huge. Besides it’s late and I need my beauty sleep as am going to some sort of Ipod shuffle-esque concert tomorrow night. As one band is playing a song another sets up to play one song and so forth, thus simulating an Ipod. Can’t tell if it’s going to be really neat or just lame.

PS: Two things actually. One, I thought the first post ever of a blog would be most difficult. I find this to be wrong. The second post is much harder. (So, I , just….like, write, about, my….life?) Second, the title of this post refers to something that my mother was told by a local on an earlier trip to Savannah. He was referring to the barbeque that my mother was about to eat. Apparently he felt it was pretty good.
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