Archive for January, 2008

Where Has The Time Gone?

This is just a brief post because I have run out of time today to put together some coherent thoughts or even the 100-word a day piece (which I enjoy quite thoroughly).

So briefly:

*Interesting post by Serena. I’m going to have to return to this soon and discuss what she has said, its good stuff.

*Just did my first paper of the semester (its taken this long? Awesome!). It is the proposal for my research project. I put it off to the last minute, but I am glad I’m not experiencing the same writer’s block I had last semester. Still recovering from that brick wall. Oh and in case you are interested I’m doing research on female pilots during WWII specifically the Women Airforce Service Pilots, woo history!

*Recently, I have this feeling of being overwhelmed by information, blogs, etc. During the fall semester I could keep up pretty regularly with the new posts on UMW blogs, but now there is so much stuff going on I don’t know where to begin. I don’t consider it my responsibility to go through it all its just a weird overwhelmed feeling and it is not necessarily a bad thing. Not sure if I am explaining that well. Guess a blog post is in order.

More to say in the coming days.



Today’s 100 word topic: Squash

When I was younger I liked vegetables, I wouldn’t say I loved them, but I never had to be nagged at dinner time. My brother tended to gag on the vegetables he could not stomach and my father would glare and make remarks about how ridiculous my brother was acting. In my nine year old mind I equated being able to eat squash, zucchini, and radishes as a form of maturity. Clearly being more sophisticated than most children I was ready to handle whatever the world threw at me. I’m still not sure if I was right or wrong.

The Lighthouse

Today’s 100-word topic: Lighthouse.

How often do I find myself on a one man boat in the midst of a tempest? The harbor seems out of reach and my tattered sails struggle against gale force winds. I am unable to save myself from unending swells of salt water pushing me to the deck.  I am filled with fear, but I hold onto the hope that One thing can save me. The Lighthouse, a guiding light in treacherous storms and unending fog. When the night is dark, pitch black, and even the stars seem to hide, the Lighthouse cuts through the void and leads me home.


The clock, an ever diligent employee of time, is all at once a helpful guide and a subtle reminder of our helplessness. It can only offer up the answer of where I am at this very moment. For a device that understands very little about time the clock gets a lot of attention. And I understand we persist in this concrete method of measuring time because it provides us with a tangible structure. But it is vital to realize it is just one measurement of time and one can measure life by more than the ticking away of seconds.

Shoes & A Caricature

Todays topic is shoes. Also at the end of this post you’ll find a lovely caricature.

  I have devoted years to the first love of my life. And it’s strange to me that most people at school don’t understand that euphoric sensation I feel when I get into a well-worn uniform and some dirt-caked cleats. Soccer was not just an activity, it was a mindset. Perhaps it is analogous to how I now consider myself a lifelong learner; in my youth I was a soccer player. It’s even harder to explain now that my cleats seldom see grass or mud. But when that unexplainable desire comes kicking at my door, I joyfully lace up my cleats.

 I will preface this caricature by saying that this is none of my own work, but the work of my very talented brother. He has only seen Gardner in a picture I showed him so I was impressed that he remembered what he looked like. My brother would probably also be very embarrassed and say its a rough sketch, but it is still better than anything I can draw. I’m still trying to get him to do other caricatures, but for now this will do. Also my brother decided if Gardner had a band it would be named “Gardner Campbell and The Groves of Academe”.



Today’s topic is snow! Wish we had some more of that down here.

There was a secret sledding hill that only a few kids on the street knew about. The hill itself was only around for a month or so and sledding available even fewer days. They had knocked down the woods for new homes, a common occurrence in our town. And we cared very little about why there was a giant hill of dirt. To us it was place to play and after the first snow, a place to sled. It wasn’t the height that made it appealing, but the steepness. All you had to do was hold on tight, very tight.


Todays 100-word a day topic is birds. I’ve never really tried to mix in lyrics with my writing and I thought I’d give it a shot and have a little fun. Just in case you aren’t well versed in Bob Marley’s music the song is called Three Little Birds.

There are those low days where I retreat to the shelter of music to find the past.
“Don’t worry about a thing, ’cause every little thing gonna be all right.”
I can’t remember the exact conversation now or why I feel so strongly that the Bob Marley album you gave me was connected to Ryan.
“Rise up this mornin’, smiled with the risin’ sun, three little birds pitch by my doorstep. Singin’ sweet songs of melodies pure and true.”
Sometimes I look out my window hoping to see birds perched on the ledge. Because despite all logic, I’d take it as sign.

“Mama Don’t Take My Kodachrome Away”

Channeling a bit of Paul Simon in this post, but up until I heard this song I had never heard of the term kodachrome and guessing from the lyrics it had to do with photography. So I took a walk over to my local reference site and according to Wikipedia it has been around since 1935. So they’ve been taking color photos since 1935? Clearly I’m not familiar with photography history and I have been highly underexposed to color photos from this time era.

This is connected to a photo blog Jim has linked to several times, called Shorpy: The 100 year old photo blog. A few months ago I had looked at it briefly and it completely threw me off that there were color pictures (vivid color) from the 1940s at first I thought they had been photoshopped. I wonder how I have never been exposed to such pictures until now? This is going on my list of “Why The Internet Rocks My World” because without it I would never have had access to the this archive of historical photos (in high-resolution!). Maybe its just me, but somehow the color photos make me feel more connected to the people in the photos, perhaps it makes more realistic. Anyone else feel the same way?

Here are some thumbnails but I recommend checking out the high-res stuff it is amazing.

1a35438upreview.jpg Sulfur Storage: 1942 1a35242upreview.jpg TVA: 1942 1a35312u_0preview.jpg Building Planes: 1942

On a random note I really like the opening line in “Kodachrome”:

“When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school
Its a wonder I can think at all.”
-Paul Simon


Just continuing the 100 words a day project I mentioned yesterday. Today’s topic is lightning.

The game was forty-five minutes away and by the time we reached the field the sky was filled with ominous and angry clouds. Inevitably the rain came pouring down in thick sheets and we sat in the car, waiting for it to pass. I was terrified of the rumbling thunder and bolts of lightning striking the wide open soccer field. He said, “Don’t worry. We are safe because the car is grounded by the tires.” Relief washed over me and I was finally able to hear the soothing sounds of the rain instead of the booming panic in my heart.


As I was strolling around the hallways of the internet I saw Barbara Ganley’s latest blog post. Her J-term class is experimenting with writing 100 words a day about a specific topic. And needing things to write about I thought hey, why not? This will also be a good lesson in brevity, which I am not so good at. So here goes my first attempt and if you couldn’t guess from the title the topic is furniture.

The day we rid the basement of the flower patterned couch with foam padding bursting from the seams, I quietly mourned the loss. The couch was older than me, full of memories of birthdays past. But no memories of sleepovers and parties were the reasons for my sentimentality. Its importance could be found in the latent memories of my father and the evenings we spent there, talking about the day and seizing the day. And that moment I realized he would not see the coming spring, he held me closely as I sobbed uncontrollably, the couch soaking up my tears.

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