Friday, December 23, 2011

Dan Folgerberg, My High School Crush

Dan Fogelberg lost his battle with prostate cancer in 2007 at the age of 54

Dan Folgerberg's voice was soothing, his music beautiful. This album sat in my room in the early eighties and I thought he was the ultimate dreamy man.

He was married three times. That's three times more than I have ever been married. Dan, what was going on with you? My father always told me to be suspicious of musicians and he knew from his own experience.

My father was on television in Colorado Springs often playing his guitar and even entered into near star status when he played backup for Jim Reeves, Minnie Pearl and Ferlin Husky.

It's interesting to hear the stories from my family about the girls going crazy over my dad and calling the television station. He's my dad for crying out loud! I am not certain I can handle that kind of information.

In any case, Dan Fogelberg takes me back to the age of seventeen. At seventeen I was dreaming of a career in writing which actually would have left me unemployed by now anyway since writers don't have jobs anymore. At seventeen I was staring into the dreamy eyes of Dan Fogelberg. -AW

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The First Family. Such a Beautiful Family!

Jules Manson Obama

Alice Hoffman, She Takes You Right Into New England

Alice Hoffman

Sometimes you come across a writer who just astounds you. I recently found this in Alice Hoffman's novel "The Probable Future."

The closest I have come to seeing the east coast is Buffalo and Amherst, New York. In the first few pages of her book I am in New England. The novel is set in springtime when flowers burst through snow and ice melts on ponds.

I can literally smell the roses as the novel progresses into summer. I am in a garden feeling the soil.

Finding a writer you truly love is a gift for a reader. It's particularly a gift when you see the long list of novels she has published.

Thank you Alice Hoffman. Writers like you make me wish I had two lifetimes to read all the great novels I want to finish. AW

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

East Junior High, The Beehive Hairdo And The Teacher With Agoraphobia

If you looked down the hallway of my junior high school on the lower level and paid attention, you noticed it was sinking. The view down the shiny waxed floor literally had a crack and downward tilt. That was just one interesting thing going on in the building.

The rest was just the normal hell of being in junior high. You know what I mean. You cannot get your hair to do the right thing, you think you are the biggest geek in the school and even though though it might be true, the thought consumes you more than homework. Then there are some unforgettable teachers.

My English teacher had a beehive. The picture to the right is not her, but the best example I could find. I am not sure how many pencils she had stuffed into that beehive, but she always had one. She'd whip it out in a nano second to assist you with your work. "Remember," she said, "if you like to read books, you will always have a friend!" I took this to mean even if I had nary a single friend in my entire life, the fact I like to read meant life would be okay. She would also frequently say, "Do something great with your life before you turn eighteen!" I am not sure what the options were. I thought I might write a novel. I did not write a novel. That achievement is reserved for my friend Missy who did write a novel. I wonder if Missy knows where she stashed that novel. It might be the next big thing.

My social studies teacher had agoraphobia. Her fear of floating off into space if not attached to something in the room led to her wandering around the room grabbing onto whatever she could find. She held onto desks, walls, chalkboards, windowsills and anything to stop her from disappearing. She was not shy about mentioning her disorder. I am not certain I learned anything in her class but was utterly fascinated with her incredible ability to find things to hold onto.

The day President Reagan was nearly shot we were dimissed early. It was not due to the national circumstance, but the plumbing. The school's plumbing backed up. Perhaps it had something to do with the tilting floor. I don't know. I was just happy to get out of the building filled with an aura of awkward adolescence. I have never wanted to see anything again at East Junior High except my English teacher. I want to know if she found pencils in her hair at night. I want to know just how she got her hair into that state. I see there are instructions on the internet. It must have been a daily feat for her to get ready for work, let alone work with a bunch of noisy disruptive teenagers. Kudos to you, my English teacher. -AW

Monday, December 12, 2011

Maybe with photoshop and not chopping my hair off again.....

.....oh, and a nose job or rhinoplasty as one commentator on my blog said, I could look like Tina Fey.


Oh Tina, only you could answer this question? Last night I had a dream that all my shoes kept falling off. Kevin Spacey came to help me. Tina, what does it mean? -AW

Monday, December 5, 2011

Why Occupy Tacoma Should Move To The UPS Campus

Look, I love The University of Puget Sound. For weeks now though, I have been driving past "occupy Tacoma" tents placed on the corner of Pacific Avenue and near a freeway pass. I think it's time to go high end, occupiers.

I am the ninety-nine percent. Don't let my fancy degree in English that leaves me bereft of job skills fool you, see that building in this picture? The financial aid office is in that building. I spent a considerable amount of time on my knees begging for more grants, loans, scholarships and just plain pity to make it through four years at this overpriced university. It was also a great place to protest investments in South Africa. UPS was the last university in the state to divest from South Africa.

It's a lovely setting for a protest. Besides the gorgeous buildings, it IS the one percent! The brochure touts the diversity of the student body. Trust me, there is no diversity. I have been there recently and it's about as white as a spilled can of Martha Stewart base coat for your house walls. It's also in the most expensive neighborhood in the city.

Besides all of these reasons, tents would look good on the grounds of the university. The food in the rotunda is excellent and perhaps some students would donate some of their funds to feed the occupiers.

Most interesting to me is what one professor refers to as "the tomb of the unknown donor." This stonehenge like structure sits just past and to the left of the main building in this picture. I think that would make an excellent space for a tent. Go ahead, test the current administration. Tell them it's time to give back to the community. Occupy "U" Pay Us. Occupy the One Percent. -Alison Whiteman