Posted by: brittany marie | August 9, 2008

the greeks had a good idea

I am watching the opening ceremony for the 2008 Olympics right now.

 

Of course it already happened earlier this morning and sadly, we only get to see it hours later. (I did learn that NBC is broadcasting live on the internet.) I wish I could be there in person about as much as I want to be in South Africa in 2010 for the World Cup. I don’t even care so much for the games as I do for the attitude of unity that accompanies these events. It is mind-blowing and humbling to watch these nations gather. There are so many beautiful people!

 

However, a small part of me cringes as I watch the people waving and cheering. The visual effects and craftsmanship of the events and the architecture of the stadium are spectacular…but I feel like they are good distractions. Why? China doesn’t even recognize Taiwan…they violently put down protests by Tibetan monks…Christians face terrible persecution from their government. But those pictures and stories are not displayed on the big screens or in the dances.

 

These countries gather and everyone, yes, everyone, speaks of peace, unity, environmentalism…gathering as the “world.” It sounds good. And it will only ever “sound” good because we can’t see it because it isn’t put into action.

 

So, the Olympics are fun to watch…and maybe they can be considered a shadow of good things that can happen…but they are by no means an accurate reading of the state of affairs in our world.

 

 

Posted by: brittany marie | July 16, 2008

in my day we listened to maroon5

My father is a comical man. His mind works fast and while he is speaking about one topic he can be miles away on a rabbit trail built from multiple barely connected ideas.  I find myself trailing in his footsteps and it is a dangerous thing. When you are in the middle of an intense conversation about someone’s life, it is not a compassionate idea to suddenly ask if the doors were locked before you left or if soft-bristle toothbrushes are better than hard bristles. But my father does this. So do I and my tongue has bled many times as I strained against letting a thought slip that would have no apparent connection to the current discussion. My father does not share the same sense of tact.

 

Anyhow, I was cleaning off a dish in the kitchen when he walked in to announce there was a musical artist whose work he really enjoyed.

 

“I think his name is David Bugle or something.” He motions, napkin in one hand, smiling the whole time. “He has a great voice. Really smooth. And he sings a lot of Frank Sinatra stuff…I’ve never been a huge fan of Sinatra, but this guy…”

 

I stop him short. “Are you talking about Michael Bublé!?”

 

His jaw drops. “Yeah! Wow, yeah, that’s the name! How did you know that?”

 

I give a short explanation but then ask, slightly bewildered, “David Bugle? Really? That’s not even close? Where did you get David Bugle from?”

 

My dad laughed and proceeded to recount how Bublé’s voice was so smooth and the he would love to have an album by Bublé…and then his train of thought jumped tracks and he followed a subject to which I only half-listened.

 

My mother is just as bad if not worse. About a year ago she volunteered at our church to help out on Wednesday nights in the high school ministry.  If you have ever been to a church high school service then you can imagine the number of crazy games a youth pastor will create to maintain the attention of his young charges. This newest game my mother was privileged to watch involved gargling Sprite while humming a popular song.

 

“I didn’t know most of the songs,” she told my sisters and me later. “But some of them were just terrible. I’m not sure why they would let kids sing that in church. One of the songs was I Let My Hips Do the Talking or something…it was terrible!”

 

My sisters and I sat in silence for a second. Then the youngest piped up, “Mom, do you mean My Hips Don’t Lie?”

 

“Oh, maybe that was it.”

 

My parents have created long and/or strange new titles for songs, movies…pretty much anything that can be named. However, if you talk about any music from the 60s and 70s then my dad will know the exact band. My mother is the same with movies and television shows. But with anything created after the early 90s my parents sort of shrug and forget the name immediately.

 

If I ever have kids, I shall be thrilled to do the same. And then I will chide them for not knowing of Postal Service, Timberland, Gnarls Barkley, or any other number of musicians I will have remembered. I will probably laugh and go on about the song that just aired on the old hits radio saying, “Low…I remember that song about apple bottom jeans and boots with the fur. Hah, that came out when I was your age…good times.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then suddenly the latest Madonna song will come on.

We all know she will still be around.

Posted by: brittany marie | July 13, 2008

blueberry skies

My weekend has been wonderful so far with my two sisters. Friday was the day for berry picking at this wonderful farm near Fort Stewart off I-95. It ended with us having a box full of berries and then making it home right before the storm broke. I also found some old sheet music with finger exercises for piano players. I can not say I play…only dabble. Saturday was a beach day at Tybee Island and while it started out a little gloomy, it ended with wild blue skies, pounding waves and minor sunburns.

 

Gracia y paz.

Posted by: brittany marie | July 11, 2008

among the stacks

Savannah is an unusual city. While she maintains and cultivates her rich history she is still looking forward with open arms to new dreams and developments. What can you expect? The city was founded at the very beginning of Georgia’s existence, but her modern population consists primarily of military and students who by choice or vocation do not remain in one area long. The winds of change and “enlightenment” blow fierce here. That is the Savannah marketed to its myriad of tourists.

 

On the other hand, the Savannah I see is built of an equal amount of eccentricity but with much less class. I know this because I work at a branch of the county’s public library system in the downtown area. I am sure that the very mention of library makes a person yawn and think briefly of old ladies in horrid floral patterns with their index finger permanently glued to their thin lips. I beg to disagree. The librarians are a unique brand of people instilled with many quirks.

 

I actually work behind the scenes with the graphic design and public relations division of this publicly funded operation. I work with some great people and while not every day is a slice of heaven it still is far from “The Devil Wears Prada.” But for a public library, there is a good portion of drama occurring daily. Some incidents are light-hearted and others beg a second look at the state of the downtown area.

 

For example, today held the joy of two separate events. Apparently, our latest patron is an admirer of shock-value, i.e. a flasher. He runs in, exposes, and then makes an incredibly quick escape. The other incident consisted of a man performing indecent acts in the children’s department. Past happenings include gang related disturbances and patrons banned for improper use of internet access. You would not believe half the things that occur in the children’s department alone.

 

But the biggest concern for some of the staff today was whether the beta fish in my office area was named Wanda or Templeton. It is a pretty fish adorned by a peach orange body and silver tipped blood and purple fins. I am sure it has to be the third fish occupying that tank since I was here two summers ago. Overall, it was a funny argument even if the participants took it a little too seriously…

 

Maybe I am overreacting, but it is a sad thing to watch cultural achievements like libraries go wasted among a good portion of the populace. What does it mean when most people use the internet for porn? Or when some have no concept of decency, especially around young children? When young men with great potential throw their lots in with gangs? Or when the park area next door is home to congregations of the homeless?

 

I am not even sure how I can respond…at least there is now taped to the tank a bright yellow index card that reads Templeton in dark maroon letters.

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