Saturday, July 30, 2005

Ahh, back in the Heartland...

I wish my family would just pull up roots and move to the East Coast. And not just because I don't like the two day drive from Maryland to Missouri/Illinois. As I have said before many a time, it is weeeiiirrrddd out here sometimes. Do you know that my fifteen and twelve year old cousins have never had quiche? That is still boggling my mind. And there is only ONE Indian restaurant in Springfield--the big city out here. One! I thought there were laws against only having one Indian restaurant in a civilized area!

But I've ben here about a week--so this reaction is all normal. I go through this every time I come out here. I love visiting with my family, but... Mom is the same way, only her tolerance is about ten minutes. And that is when she is in a good mood.

I know that I can be an insufferable east-coaster, but that is mostly in reaction to people out here. There is an arrogance that SouthWest Missourians have. For example, I went with my Grandmother to water aerobics a couple of years ago and all the other women there, once they found out that I was from the East, made a point of coming up to me and saying, "Isn't this nice? Isn't it really great that we have this here? We have a lot of neat things out here..." and so on. I, of course, kept my mouth shut, but I was like, "So?" It was like they felt the need to prove themselves to me, to let me know how great Ozark and SW Missouri is when compared to all other places in the world.

Oh, here is another one. Yesterday my Mom and I took Granny out to see The Bad News Bears. When we went up to the movie theatre window to buy tickets, the old woman behind the glass looked at Granny and told us that there was a lot of bad language in the movie. I just pointed to Granny and said, "Well, I learned all my vocabulary from her." Everyone laughed and it was cool, but on the East Coast you would NEVER say something like that because it would be viewed as a criticism of someone's movie choice. You know, "Shut the Fuck up and sell me the Fucking tickets, Bitch." Like, who are you to comment on my choice of movies?

Another one: I went to Olive Garden with my cousin a few days ago. The waiter, a guy probably nineteen years old or so, was asking us if we were on our lunch break (he was kinda creepy--my cousin said he thought we were lesbians--WTF?) My Cousin said that she was taking the afternoon off and I explained that I was visiting from Maryland. The waiter said that he had been to Ocean City and had meet some students from the University of Maryland (probably UMCP), but that it was "different" out there. I was like, "Well, I think it's a little different out here." And he started in on this whole thing about how Missouri was better because people were nicer, how they "wave to you." Meanwhile I was thinking how creeped out I would be if some old guy I didn't know started waving at me.

Oh, and just to finish venting: I have noticed that fear of terrorism is inversely proportionate to town and airport size. New Yorkers and Washington DC-ians really don't give a flying fuck. I go through BWI, National, or Dulles airports and security is what I consider a relatively sane level. But if I fly out of a smaller airport--Springfield or Roanake, VA--I am practically strip-searched. I've had luggage unpacked before my eyes--everything is suspicious to the security guards. I had one guard spend about two minutes examining a tampon (though that was pretty funny. When I finally told him what it was, he turned bright red and shoved it back in my purse. Probably didn't help that at this point I was laughing my ass off at him...)

Okay, vent over. I know my relatives are going to read this and not be pleased with me. All I can say is that, I love my family and I think SouthWest Missouri is really pretty, but I'm glad I was raised on the East Coast.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Well, I wanted to wait a couple of days before I posted this, mostly to give people a chance to finish the book.

But, yeah, if you've not finished it yet (what the hell is wrong with you?) you may want to not read the rest of this post because it will contain all sorts of spoilers.

Wow, I'm bummed. I feel betrayed. I trusted Dumbledore, I really did. I thought HP was just being petty when he kept on about Snape. I know that in the second chapter Snape makes the unbreakable vow to Malfoy's mom, but still, I thought there was going to be some way around it. In retrospect, it does make sense. Snape is a character who will try to hang on to both sides for as long as he can and then throw his lot in with the side he stands most to gain from. I think that maybe Snape was not even sure which side he was on for the first four books, but once Voldemort became stronger, he decided to throw his lot in with the Death Eaters. Still, I must confess that, the first time I read through book six I still hoped, even after finishing, that Snape was really on the side of the good guys and that it was all part of Dumbledore's plan. The second time around, though (and after checking out some interviews with JK Rowling) I realized that it was how it appeared, and that Snape really was evil.

The bright side of all this is that, if Alan Rickman signs for snape when book six is made in to a movie, he should get a lot of screentime. Now if he would just lose some of his excess weight--he really has let himself go these past few years. I think ARs peak was Sense and Sensibility--I think that came out in the late 90s.

So, yeah, after finishing book six I was a little bummed. I spent a couple of days mopeing (well, the first mope day I was going through the book again, looking for clues that Snape hadn't really gone bad. The second mope day was because I finally came to terms with the fact that he had). But this is not the first time that a book has sent me into bummedland.

Anyway, I am reading a Laurie King book called Folly. It is not a Mary Russel mystery. It is actually quite strange--about a suicidal 52 year old woman who decides to re-build a cabin on a pacific island. Weird.

I did finally give up on Kim. Oh well.

By the way, the trailer for HP and the GOF is out now. Go to to check it out.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Down in Virginia...

Well, here I am, down in Virginia, helping Mom pack. I really, really, really hate packing. This is why I try to at least be out of the state (if not out of the country) when people move. The problem is that my Mom keeps moving every year, so it gets a little obvious if I am always out of the area.

Oh well. I keep reminding myself that my Mom is going to let me live with her rent-free for the next two years. That alone is worth a move or two. Plus, she bought me a totally cool alpaca poncho the other day.

So, Virginia is weird. But we all knew that, right?

So, I caught a little of Live 8 the other day. It made me wish that I didn't faint at a little blood so I could become a doctor, move to Africa, and help thousands of people. I suppose I could always go down there and teach them English, but I'm not seeing how that would be too helpful. Damn me for being so useless.

On the other hand, I am planning to study Spanish at the community college in Salisbury while I work on my Masters. That will be useful for me, but it will also mean that I can work with immigrants. Ever since working in Weaton, volunteering as an English teacher, I have wanted to go back to working with immigrants. I can't see myself doing it as full-time work, but I would like to volunteer some time.

So yeah, I was never too interested in learning Spanish. But now, for some inexplicable reason, I am excited about learning the language. I guess now that I know how neat it can be to be able to communicate in a different language, I am hungary for more. And, lets face it, my options for continueing French are pretty much non-existant. I was going to take a class at Salisbury, but it would be too expensive for me. Plus, they really don't offer what I am looking for. So I think I will just put French on the back burner for a few years, then revive it when I get a chance.

Damn, so much is "when I get some time," and "when I get a chance." Sad truth, though, is that I mean it. I really don't have the time or energy to put into getting a Masters, working as a language tutor, learning Spanish, continueing French, playing oboe, and continueing with the fairly rigerous reading schedule I have set up for myself.

Speaking of reading, I am currently on my way through _Kim_, by Kipling. Other than _Just So Stores_ as a child, I had never done any Kipling--had never really wanted to. And now I see why. The book is interesting as a picture of India, but it is so imperialistic. I am having trouble getting through it. Every time I pick it up, I have a sudden urge to go and read some Edward Said. Go figure.