Thursday, February 27, 2014

With Haste

Summer Crossing gives us the story of Grady, and her first summer spent in New York. Her family is dysfunctional and distanced, which led her into the arms of Clyde, the parking lot attendant whom in a course of one summer married and got impregnated by. Her, their summer comes to an end with a bang, or rather a splash,  with their car careening off a bridge.

This tale reeks of teenage angst, finding the bad-boy and doing things your mother would not approve of. Grady spent her summer in search of herself, who she wants to be, where she belongs, and whether she was happy with her home. Every person at one point in their lives comes to makes decisions that greatly impact the rest of their lives, such as Grady's marriage and future child. Home for Grady is when she is with Clyde, its the brief moment where she can be completely unsheltered and unimpeded by her surroundings. This aspect of finding home in someone rather than someplace is something that often accompanies a relationship. There is a point in every relationship where one feels enamored and completely at home with their partner, this is what Grady has, and with this inebriated state comes the idea that no matter where one goes as long as they have that one person then they will always be at home

Reflective Color

I have always been drawn to color as a description tool in literary work. As a matter of fact, I actually wrote my senior seminar essay all about the use of red to symbolize sacrifice in Thomas Hardy's novel Return of the Native. Therefore, I was automatically drawn to all the descriptive color in Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko.

Now, being as I have not totally finished the novel yet, I can't give a complete summary of the story. However, what I can say is that it is a very colorful tale about pain and loss. I also feel like it definitely deals with P.T.S.D. (Post traumatic stress disorder). Tayo for sure exhibits symptoms of P.T.S.D. in the way that he is handling life after war. Additionally, he is also dealing with survivors guilt because he lived and Rocky (his cousin whom he was raised like brothers with) didn't. I also have opinions about other characters but for now I'd really like to just focus on Tayo.

At the beginning of this novel Tayo takes about his time spent in the hospital. His description is riddled with the colors white and gray I found that it was very interesting that while he was in this environment he felt like he was invisible. He continually referred to himself as the invisible man, over and over again. I couldn't help but wonder if maybe those colors symbolized oppression to him and maybe that was part of the root cause of his invisibleness. When reading further on there are many occasions when people are referred to as "white man," and so on. We also know that when Tayo returns home, it is to a reservation. Moreover, almost every time that the color white has been used so far in this novel it has been in conjunction with things such as invisibility and remoteness, as well as other things such as this. I find all of this very interesting because white often symbolizes purity. However, if in the case of Tayo, he equates the color white to white people I can see how it would have a derogatory connotation. 

On the other hand, I really feel like in this novel colors really have a distinct impression on people and their homes. The reason I feel this way is because; "The flood water was the color of the Earth, of their skin, of the blood, his blood dried brown in the bandages" (Silko 26). This is not just another beautifully colorful line, it really shows how connected Tayo and his people are to the land; to their homes. This line made me feel like they are so connected to their home, actually, to the land that is their home, that they literally reflect it in their skin. That is why I feel like the colors in this novel are very important. I feel like the way Silko uses colors in this novel they reflect the people the homes of the people that they describe.

The Difference of Home

     Home, what a word.. Home is many things to different people. Home can be just what you make it, as Holly Golightly did in Truman Capotes'   Breakfast At Tiffany's.   She had an apartment in New York City after leaving her home where she married too young.  It was just a place to land with her cat, simply named  :CAT:.   Maybe she never had a place she really called home, or felt like a home.
     Her apartment becomes a mess with things scattered everywhere showing her carefree lifestyle. It is a place to sleep and party with little furniture for any would be guests to land. She lives in a very busy city where everyone seems to be busy. She is  among all the hustle and bustle searching for the right relationship and a right place to perhaps have a place to call home where she will name her CAT.

    In Truman Capotes., A Summer Crossing., The Mc Neil family also live in New York City, but in a penthouse apartment with cleaning ladies where everything is neat and proper. The family also own a house abroad where they spend their summers.  Grady McNeil is a young girl of 17 and has never spent a summer in New York so she decides to stay behind as her sister Apple, and their parents leave by ship to their summer paradise.  She has a relationship with Clyde Manzer, a parking lot attendant whose lifestyle is completely different.  He lives in a Jewish house on the other side of town, someplace Grady had never been to.  She is out of her element when she finally meets Clyds' family and sees how different it is from hers. His house has photos on the walls and has a close net family.  It is nothing like the Penthouse she is so used too , but it is Clydes' home.


     Of Mice And Men.

John Steinbeck portrays yet another definition of home in his book   
George and Lennie, who is a man of great proportion and strength, but a little slow, travel to find what they would like to be their home.  They picture a small house with a garden and animals  especially rabbits.  Lennie is fond of soft things and all he wants is a home where he can have rabbits and take care of them. They have a perfect mental picture of this fine place, but their search never leads them there.

    All of these characters live in different places they call home and some never find.  These characters were all written about in the 1940s, but it still true today. There are people who search and search to find the perfect place to call home and never find it.  Some people are satisfied with what they have and never complain and just carry on day after day.  There are those who have traveled and lived in different parts of the country and prefer one to the other. Some say that " Home Is Where The Heart Is," or "Home Is Never Farther Than Your Own Backyard."

     The house I grew up in was not a happy place so I was ready to leave as soon as I could as did my older brother.  It seems like I am not supposed to have a real place to call home because every time I found a place I really liked...I was brought back to Ohio for one reason or another.  After living in 5 States, I am now in an apartment where I will not stay forever, I will move again and probably again  hoping for some day to settle and finally be able to call it My Home.

The Same but Different

In Truman Capote's Summer Crossing, a young woman named Grady falls in love with young man (Clyde) and lets that love control her life. Grady's parents are away on holiday and her sister is busy with her own family. During the summer of this young love Grady's life spirals out of control when she finds herself pregnant and married to a man she barely knows. She regains control by driving herself and her friends off of the Queensboro Bridge. 

In this novel Grady was searching for a comfort. She thought she found that comfort from Clyde. Why were they attracted to one another? I think one can answer this question by looking at their home lives.

Grady lived a life that was fantastical. Her parents had houses in New York, Connecticut and in Europe. She is used to extravagance and surplus. He family is not on that relies on another for emotional support. Her mother idealizes her daughters. She wants Grady to be something that Grady has no intention of ever being. Her mother wants her to play the role of a young wealthy woman in New York: be fancy, go to balls, conduct herself accordingly. There is not too much involvement from her father and Grady's sister is the ideal that her mother yearns for.  This leaves Grady searching for acceptance and love, two things that are traditionally found at home, from outside sources which in this case, is Clyde.

While Grady is always trying to find a home, Clyde is always trying to leave his. At his home he has a lot of responsibility. He helps care for his siblings and he is the apple of his mom's eye, but his family tries very much to control his life. They are close but there is this constant pressure to conform. Much like Grady's mom, Clyde's mom wanted Clyde to live the life she had imagined for him ever since he was little boy. 

Both Clyde and Grady were searching for comfort in another. Clyde was looking for a place without a preconceived notion of who he could have been, be it  a lawyer or a baseball player. Grady was searching for the same thing, but for different reasons. She wanted to have a place to let her hair down and just be herself and she thought she had found that in Clyde. 

The differences in the closeness they have with the families was a challenge to them. Grady had a hard time being in Clyde's neighborhood, much less his house, and Clyde avoided going Grady's house for a while before finally caving. The homes of one another were so foreign to them that they physically had reactions to invading that personal space of one another's. They found a home, albeit a brief one, in each other. And even though it was fleeting, at least they were able to experience it. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

To Troll Or Not To Troll...

Recently in our class we had a discussion about if it was appropriate or not to post stuff at other peoples expense on social media. We also discussed if it was okay to trash and parody celebrities and others via those same medias. In this discussion, we also chatted about internet trolls, you know, those people who just have to be nasty about every little damn thing on the internet, from gaming to twitter. Personally, as annoying as it is, if you are on the internet and social media, you are bound to come across these types of people, and having dealt with enough of them, it is best to try and ignore them. But then again, I myself am guilty of posting some of the stuff we discussed and in honor of it I would like to share some of my favorites:
I don't know why, maybe because I was in marching band, but this makes me laugh every time I see this.
This poor kid has shown up in tons of internet memes, usually he achieves something great followed by something horrible happening. I am a big Star Wars fan, and here our young lad has become a Jedi on the same day Order 66 comes down which was the order to exterminate all the Jedi. Kid just cant catch a break!
Of course, there are tons of Chuck Norris memes and parodies out there, but the power of Chuck is nothing compared to Chesty Puller, one of the most decorated United States Marines ever, a real life badass. But, then again....

Lots of these types of memes have showed up recently due to Disney buying Lucas Film, because nothing says Star Wars like Mickey Mouse!

And of course, my list wouldn't be complete without some of the Hitler Rants videos. These shorts are created from the actual movie "Downfall" but the subtitles have been changed to fit to current happenings. Normally in them, Hitler is made to look like an even bigger idiot than he was. At other times, he is the voice of reason, which makes it even more disturbing because it is Hitler for God sake! In the video above Hitler says what pretty much everyone felt about Miley Cyrus at the MTV video awards.
Hitler hates Justin Beiber....and FEGELEIN!

And finally, Hitler finds out Chuck Norris is coming for him!

Text Me Ur Revolution, K?

Last year, while packing up all my belongings in preparation for a move to our new home, I had the hardest time finding old newspapers to wrap up my dishes in. It seems that most of the old pay boxes in Madison had been removed due to a lack of use. When I thought about it, it made sense. Why pay for the Plain Dealer when you can read it on line? Why read anything that makes your fingers dirty when you can read a whole host of e-new web sites? So what did I do? I ripped the bindings out of all my old map books and wrapped my dishes in old maps. Why? Because who uses a map anymore? You can print out destination specific directions on line, or better yet, stick a gps minicomputer in your car (if your car doesn’t already have on installed). Or use the gps app on your phone.

ON YOUR PHONE… REALLY … What? Not surprised? Oh, I get it. That’ because you don’t remember these:

Once upon a time, this was all you had to make phone calls with. It sat on its very own little table in the hallway by your front door, possibly by your stairs. The table would have had two shelves, one for the phone, and one for the phone book, which you used because that was the only way to locate the phone number of the person you needed to contact. And in those days of rotary phones, you remembered everyone’s phone number in your head. If you weren’t home and someone called, there was no way for you to know you had missed that call. So you didn’t miss it. If it was important, that person who tried to contact you when you were not there, simply tried to call you again at a different time of day, or on another day. That was how communication was done.

In order to use this style of telephone, you stuck you finger in the hole of the corresponding number and spun the dial around counter clockwise until your finger met the little piece of metal that indicated the end of the rotation. Then you pulled your finger out of the hole and let the dial return to its original position. Once the dial had returned to its original position, you stuck your finger in the hole that corresponded to the next digit of the person’s phone number and you repeated these steps until you had dialed all seven digits of the person’s number. This action was all that this piece of technology was capable of doing. Over time, however, technology improved. Eventually if you tapped one of the two small plastic projectiles that the receiver rested on, you could entertain a second phone call while your first caller was on hold on another line. In the late 1980’s answering machines were invented. Until that time, missed calls were simply missed, and nobody died.

We are currently living amidst a revolution that can only be compared to two other moments in history: the agricultural revolution, which led to humans transitioning from being nomadic tribesmen to living sedentary, stationary lives, and the industrial revolution which took humans off the homestead and set up gender biased work roles and made us consumers of capitalism rather than producers of our own egalitarian needs and wants. All three of these revolutions advanced the human race. All three of these revolutions had their cheerleaders and opponents.

What is progress? Henry David Thoreau complained that the horse drawn carriage would lead men to live a faster paced life. He lamented that we would soon forget to notice the beauty of God’s majesty if we grew accustomed to this new high speed travel. Each revolution brings us greater conveniences and an equal number of detractors. I for one love reading the Huffington post, or the Guardian. I don’t at all miss newspaper ink on my fingers. And it is difficult to argue with phone apps like instagram and pintrist which let us glimpse all the sunrises and beautiful infants and puppies that bless the lives of our friends who share these moment s with us. But is life amid all this technology better?
Detractors point to evidence such as shorter attention spans from the 22 minutes we used to have thanks to the half hour sitcom to our frustration at the seconds it takes a phone app to load now being seen as an inconvenience. Some websites now estimate how long it will take you to read an article before you click on it, in case you don’t have more than three minutes to spare. Is always being in a rush to see the latest Kardashian fashion faux pas an improvement on life’s previous quality? Is always being accessible by virtue of a portable telephone that can double as a calculator, triple as a gps, and quadruple as a camera an invasion of privacy or a way to keep tabs on your children and your spouse?
And then there was the Mumbai bombing, the uprising in Iran, and the whole Arab Spring. Without the use of cellphone tweets and facebook photos, governments that could previously censor and control their media have since lost that ability completely. Technology has liberated, defrocked and called attention to outrage, murder and rape.

Every revolution has its detractors. Usually it’s us old folks who refuse to admit to anomic feelings of frustration. We just don’t like change and we don’t want to be left behind. Today, I left my cell phone at home. No one will be able to contact me until I return home later this evening. I don’t think I’m going to miss much. Oh wait, now I can't text Virginia to find out when this is due!


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Leaving a Trail

A home is more than a structure that keeps storms out and heat in. While is does give us shelter, it is also a photo album, a memory card, a story-teller and even a museum.
Truman Capote's Summer Crossing shows how much of someone is revealed by their home. This 1940's New York City tells the story of a 17-year-old girl searching for discovery. Grady McNeil, despite what her parents may think, pursues a relationship with Clyde Manzer who works as a parking lot attendant. Although she knows that her parents would never approve of someone like Clyde, she quickly enters a serious relationship with him.
However, Grady cannot understand Clyde. She attempts to ask him questions about where he came from and what his family is like, but the limited answers are not satisfactory. Grady tries everything she can to understand him, but nothing will give her insight into his life. That is, until she figures out the only thing that will give her clues about the she is attached to.
His house. Grady realizes that seeing where he grew up and what kind of family he had is the only way to understand anything about him. Although on her first attempt to go to Clyde's house she runs home after about twenty steps because she is so afraid of the neighborhood, she finally spends an evening in his house. This results in some insight about who Clyde is.
How can a structure reveal so much about a person? It is not the structure itself that reveals information, it is the trail we leave behind us. As pieces of our lives are left lying around our houses, they signify what is important to us, how messy we are, what memories we have, and the list goes on and on. The growth chart penciled on the kitchen wall tracking the height of each child throughout their entire lives could signify that the house centered around children. The baseboards in my kitchen, covered in puppy teeth marks, indicate that dogs are an important part of my life.
We leave a trail of clues in our houses everyday. The smallest things, like what we had for lunch, can tell enormous truths. The dirty hand prints on the window become a photo album, the rusty bicycle becomes a memory card, the stack of CD's becomes a story-teller and the box of old shoes becomes a museum.


Friday, February 14, 2014

Here Kitty Kitty

Do pet's make a place a home? Or are pet's just something that we add to our homes for companionship? In the case of my house my kitty is part of my family. According to my daughter he is her child and she is his mommy. However, I tend to think of him like he is my kid also. Ultimately, I think that what people think of their pets really depends on their own personal interpretations, but looking at our recent texts we see two very different perspectives.

Of mice and men is an excellent example of how pet's can make a place a home. In this novel we see just how important it is for Lenny to have bunny's at the home he and George plan to some day have. For Lenny, this place will never really be his place, his home, without those bunny's. They are just as important to him as the actual house itself. In fact, I think that he would be happy living in a tree just as long as he had those bunny's with him.

Breakfast at Tiffany's, on the other hand, is a novel that shows us how a pet can be there to just offer companionship. In this novel, Holly's cat is just there because he happened to be in the right place at the right time. As Holly was so fond of saying, they are each "independents." This is obvious by the way that Holly carelessly tosses the cat to the side when she is attempting to flee the country. Sure, she ended up feeling about about abandoning him, but that doesn't change the fact that she had no intention of taking the cat along with her when she left. To Holly, this cat was just a companion to her while she was still living in New York City. He was not part of her home. Really, she didn't necessarily have a home, but having a pet was not something that could make a place a home for Holly.

It's interesting to see how things, whether they be objects or pets, can effect how a person views their home. I think that what I have began to notice so far this semester is that, often, it's not the dwelling so much as the objects and/or the family that makes a place a real home to many people. What do you think?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Manhattan: Home of Symbiotic Isolation

Webster's defines autonomy as, “The right of the individual to govern himself according to his own reason.” You would think that life in Manhattan would engender that kind of thinking. Well that's true, but that is only one side of the story. Living there can be a little bit like living in an incubator. As cramped as you may be in your two or three room apartment, once you've been in it for more than five years, it becomes virtually impossible to leave. Never mind that your rent is so astronomical that you can scarcely save up the money to move. There is this mentality that pervades all logic: that life off the island of Manhattan not only has no meaning, it does not exist. Not really. No one else could possibly really live. I can remember shuddering when someone even mentioned taking the Path Train to New Jersey. When you live in Manhattan, the world is flat. Go over a bridge, and you will fall off the earth.

Add to this mentality the convenience of city life. You do not need a car, because everything you could ever want is within a ten block radius. You don't have to cook or buy groceries, because you can get anything, even a fur sink, delivered. (You couldn't cook even if you wanted to because your armpit is bigger than your kitchen.) Then there are all the support groups, public assistance, unadvertised sample sales and sliding scale payment plans. All of this adds up to the proverbial flip side of the saying old blue eyes made famous: “If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere.” Maybe you can make it there because its easier there than it is everywhere else. For once you become an integral member of your neighborhood, Manhattan can feel downright symbiotic.

It is that symbiosis that has made New York the capitol of the world, and home to every artist imaginable: from Dylan Thomas at the Chelsea Hotel, to Lou Reed and the Factory courtesy of Andy Warhol. Art and New York are synonyms.

Two writers who make a name for themselves by inviting us into the arms of the city are Truman Capote, with his uptown wit and scarlet ladies, and Jonathan Safran Foer whose precocious Oskar both breaks our hearts and demands our allegiance.

Truman's Holly Golightly embodies the spirit of the city she merely rents on a month by month basis. Her relationships are all transient as signified by her lack of furniture so that no one can feel at home. Her cat is merely a room mate until she loses him. When the cat finds a home without her, the reader is left wondering who in the story has a happy ending, Holly, or the cat. The cat also doesn't want to leave Holly, he runs his body along her legs as she tells him in no uncertain terms to leave her. He feels the connection that she does not. He recognizes his home in this female vacuum.

Holly spends her life behind dark glasses. In her furnitureless life, she whisks about in an alcohol induced stupor with eyes veiled and hence unreadable. In a city of nine million people, sunglasses can be a vulnerable person's best friend. Holly utilizes these with the dexterity of the restless, thrown away child that she is. Her stolen masks are simply more of the same. Unlike her cat, she is never conscious of just how much she relies on the city for her self-definition. But her unconscious reliance is misplaced when she chooses to identify with Tiffany's: the brand of the New York elite. She may be passing herself off as a shiny prize worthy of the famous baby blue box, but like the blood diamonds sold on Fifth Avenue, she is a specter, wearing a label that misrepresents her true self. She never values those elements of Manhattan that encapsulate her and provide her her home, like Joe Bell and Fred and Mr. Yoniushi. If only she could see the difference between the insular five floor walk up and the cage.

Grady McNeil is yet another young women finding herself. She understands her relationship with the city. She understands her upper east side. But she wants to understand herself and that inner essence which sets her apart from her mother and sister. She does this by cutting across town and standing on Broadway on the upper west side. A non New Yorker may think that uptown is uptown, no matter if its east or west, but they would be wrong. There is a world of difference between each individual neighborhood. The upper east side is home to Old Money, investment bankers, et al. The upper west side is New Money, artists, Broadway stars, Fashion icons. The east side is conservative. The west side is liberal. So for Grady to stand on a corner of Broadway on the west side in the forties is shocking. She is purposefully out of her element: pushing the envelope, taking a risk. The touchstones of her childhood are no where to be found on Broadway and her risk taking lands her in an adrenaline rush of cross cultural socio-economic landmines no debutant can survive. In a city that insulates its tight knit neighbors and neighborhoods, Grady breaks a rule the city rarely forgives: she goes slumming. Once you go downtown, or over the Fifty-Ninth Street Bridge, there is no going back to Fifth Avenue. In this way New York has always been a mirror of fiscally conservative society. Some rules, as Grady realizes, cannot be broken.

Perhaps the most noteworthy character in Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, is the city itself. In working through his grief at the loss of his father, Oskar Schell connects with strangers in a manner only possible in large urban environments. The self imposed island a New Yorker becomes as she puts on her dark sunglasses ala Holly, can provide much needed emotional insulation. But the city has heart, and in post 9/11 New York (and Post Giuliani's Police state) it is safe enough for a child to discover himself through connecting with others who have suffered a loss. Each person Oskar connects with needs the experience of him just as much as he needs them. The city supports the exploration of these new found friendships. It engenders them. It gives nine million people a chance at the wonders of symbiosis.

Lou Reed once remarked that the dot com bubble was pricing all the artists out of New York City. Someday, he said, art will find a new home, one where the artist's will find affordable rent. That may be true, but the voices of established artists will never leave the capitol of the world. It is brash. It is self important, but it is a character and a cauldron and it percolates people until they either self destruct or catapult to greatness. It does nothing in between. Capote's and Foer's character's are evidence of the wit and intelligence that cultural meccas galvanize. They could belong nowhere else but to the city the Beastie Boy's so famously told us “blends and mends and tests”.

Holly, Go.

All who wander aren't lost and that saying rings especially true for Holly Golightly in Truman Capote's Breakfast At Tiffany's. In the novel a young writer moves in to a brownstone in New York City. In this same brownstone lives a Holly Golightly. She's young, fun, spontaneous and never seems to really fit in anywhere--she's always standing out. Her apartment is a mess and still contains suitcases that she she lives out of and she doesn't possess any furniture for guest to sit. in the novel, this young writer (henceforth known as the narrator) befriends Holly and is shown the world from her perspective. However, Holly, never truly belonging anywhere for an extended period of time, leaves the country after being involved (obliviously so) in a drug smuggling scheme. The narrator later sees a photo of a statue from Africa that bears a striking resemblance to Ms. Golightly. 

There is a question that sticks in my mind after reading Breakfast at Tiffany's, and it is simple: Why does Holly wander? She ran away from her older husband when she was 14 and moved to California and right when she was poised to break into movies, she jetted off to New York without notice. It seems as if whenever things begin to get too permanent Holly has to leave. She's like a shark that has to keep moving. It appears as if Holly fears permanence, and never really wants to belong to any one or any where and she simply just wants to be. Someone Holly's age, with no parents, no "real" husband and no ties to any land or anyone besides he brother Fred who is also far from any home because he is in the Army, has the freedom to do as she pleases. She doesn't know what she wants out of life and she's just trying to figure it out by living as freely as she can. 

She finds home in the happiness that she feels either around people or her surroundings, even if she does not realize it. She grew very attached to her nameless cat, only she did not know it until after she dumped "Cat" on the street on her way out of the country. She had this connection to this animal that was strong enough to cause her to feel regret and that has to mean something. Cats, like Holly, are independent animals. They can be housed and fed and kept as pets, but they survive just as well (well, maybe not as "well") as street dwellers, living off of other peoples scraps and the kindness of strangers. But some cats do well in a home, eventually. They settle down and become fat house cats. And that's what I think would have eventually become of Holly if she was a real person. 

It's easy to forget how young she was in the novel and i think her youth can be her valid excuse. Nowadays kids her age go off to college and live on their own for a while and get a sense of who they are, really. Holly Golightly was married at 14 and she felt that life wasn't for her, so she left. And she will not settle for anything less than what pleases her, and i think that's ok.

So go, Holly. Go on and keep searching and home will be something you'll carry with you until your are comfortable enough to set it down. 

Photo Source

Piles of Clothes

Growing up, since I did not have my own home, my bedroom became my home. And like many teenagers, it was hardly ever clean. Six outfits from the morning were normally tossed in wrinkled piles on my unmade bed since I had to try on my entire closet before deciding what to wear. Add to that the six piles of clothes from the day before and the other past mornings I hunted for just the right outfit, my room quickly became an obstacle course. And as most mothers would be, my mom was usually pissed. But I did not care because it was my home. The piles of clothes, books and dishes stacked on my night stand made it feel like home to me.

However, In Holly Golightly's life, this was not the case. In Breakfast at Tiffany's, Holly's life was a mess, including her apartment. Her apartment was filled with boxes and suit cases and there was an absence of chairs so no one could stay long. Holly's apartment was also cluttered with clothes, just as my room was, but for the opposite reason. Holly's apartment was such a mess because she did not want to become attached to it. Her piles of clothes created a barrier that made it impossible for that apartment to become home. She was not ready to settle in that apartment as a home and therefore did everything she could to prevent any feelings to form towards the place that was not home. 

How can two places that share many of the same physical qualities be entirely different? I believe the answer lies in acceptance. Growing up, I had accepted that this is where I lived. Because I accepted this reality, I allowed my room to be cluttered with items that made me feel comfortable. Holly was not ready to accept the fact that she was where she was in life. She was unsatisfied and could not let herself become attached to her apartment because her life would have been disappointing. Her piles of clothes were reminders that her life was not what she wanted. Her suit cases and boxes were flashing signs reminding her that she was not yet where she wanted to be.

Picture Citation

Crazy Girl #4

     Summer Crossing was a good story.  Grady is a girl who does not quite know what to do with herself.  She has a sister named Apple.  Their parents go on a vacation cruise.  The girls have to tend to things while they are away.  The best part of the book is when Grady goes out on a date with a guy named Clyde.  But her sister does not know.  Apple has gotten married and moved to her own place with her husband and had a little boy.  But anyway, Grady went on the date.  She and Clyde went to central park in New York.  Clyde bought her balloons and stuff.  He later tells her that he has to go because his brother is having a barmitzva .  She was surprised.  But he stayed after she gave him attitude.  They were going on a ride with some horses.  Some black kids jumped out at them and spooked the horses.  The horses took off through the streets.  Clyde got off his horse after some fierce struggle.  Grady's did not stop right away.  A policeman got her horse to slow and stop.  She was a little shaken up and the date ended.  Grady also had feelings for Peter, another guy she knows.  Well one thing lead to another, Grady and Clyde ended up getting married.  Grady began to have second thoughts after what she had done. She was thinking of Peter and how he did not know she had married Clyde.  One night they all ended up in a car together on the streets of New York.  A guy named Gump was driving and Grady grabbed the steering wheel.  He said you'll kills us all.  Grady said I know.  That was a stunner.  I thought that was so cool.  They had to be scared to death of her.  Before she did that she had gone to see her sister and Clyde had been there looking for Grady, who had disappeared for a couple of days.  Clyde had told her sister Apple that they had married and Apple was shocked.  If I were married again the first person I would tell is my family, mostly my sister.  Grady was in love with two different men.  She could not stand to lose either of them in her life. So by her not choosing one and not the other she was torn between them both.

Monday, February 10, 2014


Upon reading the first fifty or so pages of Breakfast at Tiffany's one thing is certain, Miss Holly Golightly is a mess. Whether this mess had good or bad implications is yet to be seen, but to no matter that doesn't make her any less interesting to 'Fred' the writer or the readers. We are given a glimpse into the daily dealings that inhabit her life, countless strangers in her apartment, escapes via the fire escape, her unusual taste in conversation, and her nameless cat. We are also shown her apartment, which is as mess just like her, no place to sit, clothes all over.Our narrator, the writer, is intrigued with Miss Holly, enough so to immerse himself in her mess of a life, thus immersing the reader as well. Its safe to say that nothing notable has happened up until this portion of the novel, well there was Mag's drunkenness that was somewhat comical, and the brief history of Holly that O.J. gives us.

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The idea of home that this portion of Breakfast at Tiffany's gives me an impression of a young woman in a transitional phase of life, not yet knowing were to belong, where to call home, and thus explains her messy life/apartment. Again, home has yet to have any real meaning to Holly at this portion in the story. Here apartment is an extension of the lifestyle she is living, clothes strewn all over (from the many nights entertaining guests), no furniture for guests to sit on (implying that she doesn't want extended company), and her no named cat (no named because its future is just as uncertain her own). So, home means nothing substantial to Holly at this point in her life, and by substantial I mean that it has no emotional impact on her. Like I said before, her apartment is an extension of the lifestyle she portrays, which is a young women in New York without and moral obligations to follow. Thus home to her is just a place to entertain guests and store her clothes until she feels the need to move on to the next.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Loaded Drama #3

                                                                Loaded Drama #3
Of mice and men was a great story.  George and Lennie were great.  This was great read.  It was a little morbid, but it moved the story along.  The fact that Lennie was killing these animals was not clear to me till he killed Curly's wife.  I thought perhaps that it was something else.  George kept the secret about Lennie from the rest of the hired help at the farm.  Lennie trusted George with his life.  He always thought the best of George when ever he spoke of George.  I'm not sure whether Lennie knew his own strength or not.  But he had a love for bunnies.  I wonder if Lennie and George had got near bunnies if he would have killed them also.  Lennie was so perplexed by bunnies.  So the mice, the puppy and Curly's wife did not have to die.  Neither did Candy's old dog. But Candy's old dog was suffering.  This was a loyal thing to do by putting him out of his misery.  But George realized that he had to do something about Lennie or it would not stop or it would come back to hurt him.  So George did the right thing by shooting Lennie.  It was sad but loyal to do this. Curly's crew would have made Lenny suffer from the crime he committed.  I think that this was a good read for me.  I really liked the way the story was told.  There were no dull spots in the book.  I had to read it twice because it was so good.  

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Home is where the heart is...

This line has been said over and over again, yet to me seems somewhat moronic. In essence it simply means home is wherever you feel loved, comfortable, surrounded by friends and family. It's easy to see how this line gets passed around and recycled over the years, its generic and fits the mold as to define home quite easily. Yet, at
least for me it brings about a sense of anger, a sense of frustration with its simplicity. Home for me wasn't where my heart was, home for me was a roof over my head that kept the shitty Ohio weather out. Much like Lennie and George I often dreamed of having such a home where I could do whatever I wanted, and not attest to anyone or anything. A place where I could be happy in doing nothing. Now, will I ever find that place? Possibly. Is it silly to dream of such a thing? Probably. But isn't it better to dream of a better home, than to accept a insufficient, unfamiliar one? 

This is the case with George and Lennie, rather that accept their lives the way they are, hard and laborious passing from one ranch to the other, they share a dream of an ideal home where both their wants and needs are fulfilled completely. Lennie has his rabbits, George is finally his own man making decisions for himself, and even Candy joins in along the way with his dreaming of finally living without worry of being replaced. This idea, this home, although not a physical being serves as a vessel for George, Lennie, and Candy. It offers them hope, offers them a glimpse of the happiness that they have been working their lives away to obtain. The idea of home in the novel Of Mice and Men is not on a physical plane, but invokes an emotional resonation within the characters to do whatever it takes to finally make it home.


Home often varies for many people, and so do the objects that we consider part of our homes. Every person has something that turns a place into a home for them. In the case of my daughter, she just isn't at home without her stuffed animals. Now, I don't just mean one or two, I mean she has to have the whole lot of them or she just isn't happy. When we first moved into our apartment and I set up the bedroom for her she had to have her pile of stuffed animals on her bed or she just wouldn't sleep. For me, my bed and my teddy bear that is made out of some of my mothers old clothing is what makes home. Without those things I'm just not happy either. Anything else without those two things just feels alien. It feels like it isn't a place where I am welcome. 

What I really loved about Of Mice and Men was the way that Lennie and George's dream home always seemed to evolve yet stay the same. For example, when Candy became a part of the duo's plan the home evolved in a way so as to be able to include Candy as one of it's occupants. It evolved in a way that would allow Candy to also be a productive part of the home. However, in its evolution the home still managed to keep the elements that were desired by Lennie and the ones that were desired by George. Even though, the plan evolved nothing was lost for the other two.

Finally, the best part about the actual dream home of these three character was that it had something or some element that each of them had to have. For Lennie that object was the rabbits. There was no way that this plan would ever be a home for him without those rabbits. For George it was being able to do whatever they liked, and for Candy it was the fact that no one would be able to throw him out when he was old and useless. For each of these three character this home ultimately provided freedom and peace of mind, and isn't that what home is all about?

Killing The American Dream

To me, the novel Of Mice and Men isn't so much about the idea of home itself, but about how home is one small part of The American Dream, and how it fits in with peace, equality, and justice. Also, it's about all the forces that work against attaining that dream.

I believe George represents the good things about America. He is a hard working, self educated man, who protects the innocent. Through hard work, he hopes to get a farm where he and his friends can live in peace and quiet and with dignity and respect.

Lennie and Candy represent the disabled and the old. They too desire to live together on the farm with George, because they also seek a version of the American Dream. Crook represents minorities in the book, and though cynical at first, he too desires to seek the peace on the farm.

And of course there is Curley and his wife, and the other hired hands, who represent everything that gets in the way of obtaining the American Dream: Lust, greed, anger, and prejudice. In the end, these forces prove to much for George to overcome and he and Lennie are forced to flee the farm. When George realizes that their dream is shattered, he uses the idea of it to make Lennie happy when he shoots him, allowing him to die happy and not by the hands of Curley.

I believe that these ideas still resonate today. The idea of the American Dream is still out there, but there is so much working against it and pulling it apart from all directions. Will it ever be obtainable again? That is the great question we as a nation must answer.

This is the Metlife commercial from the Super Bowl, I thought it captured the true American spirit quite well.