Archive for July, 2011

Summer Jobs: A Thing of the Past?

July 20th, 2011 by Terra | No Comments | Filed in Uncategorized

All this business about Borders stores closing across the country, and then discovering this month that the last neighborhood bricks-and-mortar video rental place I had (yes, it was a Blockbuster, but still) has now vacated its premises, I am thinking a lot of different things. And one of the things I am thinking is, how the heck are teenagers getting those oh-so-important summer jobs? And where?

I myself was one of those working teenagers who didn’t just have a job over the summer, but during the school year as well. I worked as a mother’s helper to a woman who had twins, then as an assistant at a preschool, and then as a busser and bakery counter girl at The Mill Bakery & Eatery (no longer in existence). Working so much sometimes sucked, and was rough on my social life from time to time. But it got me extra money. And interesting friends. And some amazing life experiences.

I know there are still grocery stores. And ice cream parlors. And indie bookstores and parents’ offices and children who need care during the summer and sleepaway camps and things like that. I know that the summer job isn’t totally going away. But still, I feel (especially considering the ongoing economy), we’re losing something.

So in the effort to pay homage to this rite of passage in life, I’m asking you to tell me about a summer job YOU had, and how it changed your life!


Songs In My Head Upon Waking in the Last Week*:

“Tell it to My Heart,” by Taylor Dane; “You are My Sunshine” (generic folk song); “The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers,” by Tigger; “Only the Beginning,” by Jem & the Holograms; “Could You Be Love?” by Bob Marley; the theme song to the TV show “Silver Spoons”; “Legs,” by ZZ Top

* this one was a DOOZIE, and no I swear I am not making any of this up.

And I Thought *I* Was Crafty!

July 13th, 2011 by Terra | No Comments | Filed in Uncategorized

Some of you know that I have a penchant for paper crafts. I love them, of all kinds, but I especially love doing decoupage. (Cutting paper out and gluing it onto something else, like a box or a bowl.) For the last couple of years, my papercrafting has sort of been on hiatus; I haven’t done much more than make some Valentines for friends.

But now my urge to cut, clip, paste, glue, and possibly even glitter has been renewed by my pal Lily Jurskis and this incredible video she made for the They Might Be Giants song, “Can’t Keep Johnny Down.”

What do you think? She should make a book trailer for me, right? And then teach me how to do this!


Songs In My Head Upon Waking in the Last Week:

“Breathe Me,” by Sia; “Babylon,” by Daniel Clay; “Rollercoaster,” by Everything But the Girl; “Wise Up,” by Aimee Mann; this was weird–no clear song but a jumble that sounded like running up and down the radio dial real fast; “What a Fool Believes,” by the Doobie Brothers; “Take a Letter, Maria,” by R. B. Greaves

Revisit Your Summer Reading

July 6th, 2011 by Terra | 3 Comments | Filed in Uncategorized

Yesterday on Twitter, @simonschuster was asking about summer reading memories, which, for me, brought back a shameful recollection. I only had one class that ever assigned summer reading, you see. It was, possibly, my FAVORITE CLASS OF ALL TIME: AP English with Mrs. Shepard. The books we read in that class changed my life (particularly All the King’s Men, still my top-very-favorite-book-of-all-time, and As I Lay Dying).

Not so much the summer reading assignments, however. While I know I did read some of the books on the list (The Great Gatsby was one–that one we actually talked about at the beginning of the semester), what I remember more is what I didn’t read.

Was it because I was too busy going to Montreat, or youth group mission trips, or to $1.50 movies and then dessert with my best friend? I’m not really sure. I just know –and, Mrs. Shepard, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry– I never read A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, or The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Never did then, and never have since.

In my defense, I did start them. But, shamefully, for whatever reason, I didn’t finish them. And, luckily –or unluckily– for me, we were never tested on the books, and my ignorance went unnoticed.

Until now. Now, I’m aghast at myself for never having read two such serious classics of English literature. (At least from what I hear.) I am nothing if not a preacher for read, read, read, read–read everything, even things you don’t like much–and this omission in my own reading canon is, well, embarrassing. So I decided, this summer, I’m going to go back and revisit. I’m going to take on these two books.

My reading pile for the summer is already huge. In fact, the reading pile of my life is really huge. So, to be honest, it may be September or even December or maybe March of next year before I get to these. But I know that Mrs. Shepard assigned these books for a reason. And even if it takes me until twenty years after getting that assignment, by god, I’m going to read them.

So, what summer reading books are YOU going to revisit?


Songs In My Head Upon Waking This Week:

“I Wanna Rock n’ Roll All Night,” cover by Toad the Wet Sprocket; “Myriad Harbor,” by the New Pornographers; “All Men Are Liars,” by Nick Lowe; “Made Up Love Song #45,” by Guillemots; “Sympathy for the Devil,” by the Rolling Stones; “Judgment Day,” by Daniel Clay; “Wake Up,” by Arcade Fire