Sunday, September 6, 2009

Things to Say

I was gently reminded I had a blog the other night and I automatically said my standard reply, "I don't have anything to report." It's true in the past I always kept a blog only while I was off on some exciting adventure. Bath, England. Washington DC. My daily life just doesn't inspire me to words like the Royal Crescent or the Jefferson Memorial.

However, I will try again and join every other Tom, Dick and Harry that keeps a blog these days. I am back living with my parents - first fun fact for the post. My delightfully expensive education that has put me into more debt than I can comprehend, has failed to procure me a job yet. No worries there. When I keep finding entry level jobs listed as requiring PhD's, I figure it's the job market and not me. Some days are better than others for convincing myself of that line.

I am still working for the Sindecuse Museum of Dentistry back in Michigan. I am finishing up a research project I've been working on for them on the early women graduates of the University of Michigan dental school. Tracking them has been a lot of fun - a treasure hunt of sorts. Some of them lead quiet lives. Others went off and did extraordinary things. My favorite though must be Flora Mae Spore who alternately went by Marion Spore and then, her married name, Marion Spore Bush. She had a successful dental practice in Bay City, Michigan for over 20 years before her mother's death caused her to start hearing voices that told her to paint. So, she went off to New York City and did "spirit" paintings. Fascinating, isn't it? She even has her own Wikipedia Page here . I especially love that she literally married her husband an hour after his second divorce was finalized. How the broad sheets of New York must have screamed!

I've been re-reading my books since I got home from Michigan. Slowly working my way back through my shelves, deciding if I want to keep them after I re-read them or if it's time to send them on their ways. I started with Gregory Maguire. I will forever love him for giving me Elphaba and Iris but his later books are not as much to my taste. Both Lost and Mirror, Mirror are just well...weird is a good word for them. Lost tries to combine elements from Dickens' Christmas Carol next to the stories of Jack the Ripper and elements of Possession. It never successfully does that and then , towards the end, really goes off the deep end. It has an unlikable heroine who is completely untrustworthy and, let's see how best to put this....whiny. I cannot abide by a whiny character. Mirror, Mirror is in a bad position from the beginning with me - it's based on Snow White, the least likable princess I know. Its premise is more interesting than Lost but still fails to capture my attention. I fight my way through it and then post it on Amazon. Someone else more inclined to like Snow and her dwarfs is welcome to it. I hope to work my way through my bookshelves, purging once I know I'll be happy to never open the book again.

I did re-read, and adored all over again, Jane Eyre. Charlotte never did write another one as good (personally, after Jane Eyre, I think she just stole and re-tooled her sisters' best ideas). Jane is witty, courageous and independent. Though Rochester is right there with Darcy on my list of "Literary Heroes I adore on the page but are 'too costly for daily wear,'" Jane and he make a great couple to root for throughout the novel. Definitely on my keeper shelf.

Tomorrow is an excursion to Skaneateles and then to visit my cousins in Marcellus. My little cousins are apparently asking for new playmates - I think they have that end of summer, don't want to go back to school but really are bored out of their minds syndrome I remember well. We're also going to help them plan for their Disney trip in November. Mine is in three days! Boo-yah!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

mr. president

It has not been often lately that I have been able to be proud of my country. I remember the embarrassment of my first trip to Europe senior year of high school. I was visiting France with my AP French class following the whole "freedom fries" fiasco when the US was ostracizing a country and its leaders for doing the unthinkable...listening to the will of its people. The hypocrisy of that whole episode made me gag. My semester abroad was a little better though I often wished I could say I was from anywhere but the US at times. Why, oh why, wasn't I Canadian? It had been my plan at the time - finish school and head north. I'm happy to say I was forced to stick around for school because I think today, for the first time in a long time, I was proud to be an American.

So, my best wishes and good will go out to our 44th president. And also a good luck because the poor guy is going to need it. I am certainly ready to rise to the call of responsibility he put forth in his speech this afternoon and I think a lot of my generation is as well. Too long I felt like I didn't have anything to believe in and after spending a summer in DC, surrounded by its history and then watching this historic campaign and swearing in of President Obama, I think I do have some restored faith in my country and its people. It always seemed like we were paddling as fast as we could and getting nowhere, hindered by party lines and uncompromising "values" that cripple the government's ability to do anything of use. Here's hoping we're ready for a change, for compromise and a new future with a little more faith and a little more trust that we're all in this together and we can make a change for the better.