Perils of assimilation

If only life came with subtitles.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Containing book references, family history, and music

I saw an ad today for the Nancy Drew movie, and all I could do was cringe. I used to read Nancy drew books, I could get through at least three a day. They were entertaining, short, and easy (the books, not the characters, hehe). Don't ruin classic children's lit with another shitty movie.

The real girl detective I loved was Trixie Belden. My fourth grade teacher had a shelf of those, and I consumed them. The character I liked best was Honey, Trixie's cousin. She didn't appear in many mysteries, but when she did she made them so much better. Although the was the cousin of the whitest chick in the world and was described as having honey-coloured hair, I always imagined Honey as a gorgeous black girl with a myriad long sleek black braids. Honey was crazier, wittier, and more interesting that Trixie could ever hoped to have been.

The girl detective genre was rather inspiring to many. Harriet the Spy for instance. I didn't like her that much, but she had a profound effect on my mom. Harriet inspired my mother to keep a journal, which then evolved into her sketchbooks. My mother was TALENTED. She kept all of her old sketchbooks, and they are amazing. In particular, the drawings of horses. She could draw anatomically correct horses, but she also did several that simply captured the soul and grace of certain beasts. I wish she had gone to art school or something, instead of letting her immense talent just waste away.

Side note: I totally thought Mother's day was next weekend. oops. Love ya, Mom!

I am afraid of becoming her: not making use of whatever talents I may have, being stuck in a waitressing job for decades, not getting a degree (any degree!), and letting depression consume me. I have her bad habits already, and her crazy temper. I also worry about inheriting my father's traits. Procrastination, willingness to settle, a predisposition for quitting too early. I think everyone angsts about becomig their parents. It frightens, no, TERRIFIES me how similar to them I am already. We inherit our elders' sins, yes, but that is because we become them. I know my mom is just like Nana.

I can't compare my father to his parents because they kicked the bucket long ago. I don't feel like I can refer to them as my grandparents because I never met them, and my dad rarely mentions them. I know His mother was an alcoholic and his parents divorced when he was young. I pretty sure his father remarried and moved to Mexico City. I have never met most of my cousins on Pater's side. The closest I had to paternal grandparents were Aunt Dot and Uncle Ray, who both passed away some time ago. We used to go to their house in Racine for Christmas Eve every year. Ironically, they only lived a block from my mom's parents where we go to spend Christmas day.

As far as aunts and uncles on that side of the family, I have a few. My father is twelve years younger than his nearest sibling, and so basically grew up an only child. Aunt Kim is not actually my aunt, but my dad's cousin. I was a bridesmaid in her daughter Michelle's wedding. We used to go to cookouts at their house in Kenosha back in the day. I used to play with my cousin Jennifer (who I'm not sure is even my cousin), and I idolized Michelle.

Aunt Claire died from cancer long ago. I only saw her once, before she died. I will get to see my Uncles Dan and Alan and my Aunts Sherri and Neen later this summer. Uncle Dan likes to tell stories of his war buddies, and the stupid things he did when he lived in Japan. I don't know Uncle Alan well, but he has great stories about growing up in Ireland. somewhere along the line I also have a cousin that is an archeologist in Arizona (expert in Native American caves etc.) and also a cousin Margaret that has traveled the world and was last heard from in Patagonia. I met my cousin Rain once, but hardly remember. I was a snotty teenager back then.

Listening to The Beatles. Holy shit, these guys were/are amazing. The Beatles is like the soundtrack to my childhood. My dad has nearly every album they made, and he gave me Beatles CDs all the time. I used to come up with little stories that went along with the album I was listening to. The only one I can recall now is the silly story I made up to go along with Rubber Soul. I used to just lie in bed for hours and listen to The Beatles. I do the same thing now, but I've branched out to other bands.

My first concert ever was Paul McCartney. My dad scored discounted tickets (he's got connections everywhere, it's mind-boggling), and we went and saw him at the Bradley Center when I was in eighth grade. I hope to go to many more concerts with my dad in the future. He's so cool that it isn't embarrassing in the slightest to go to concerts with him. If I ever have the chance to see the White Stripes in concert, my dad is the first person I would want next to me.

I haven't slept a wink, so I'm going to go meander around, perhaps catch a sunrise.


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