After a long Spirit Squad practice.
from several summers ago.
this is angela, she’s playing selah and today we were outside for several hours taking photos and tiny movies.
and when you’re seventeen?
Selah couldn’t believe cheerleading used to be so single shaded.
and by single shaded i mean white
A Collection of Past “Books I’ve Been Reading”
Life As We Knew It, The Dead and the Gone, The World We Live In (it’s a series that aims to rip your heart out and eat it while you watch): I’d picked this book because the moon used to be my favorite rock in the sky. I say used to because it is now a looming rock of near-by death and destruction to whom I glare at whenever I get the chance. This series chronicles what happens when an asteroid knocks the moon slightly closer to the Earth (and apparently they didn’t have Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s twitter feed to keep them up to date about any potential disasters) and the entire way of life on Earth is shifted forever and ever. It’s like some cross between a Sarah Dessen novel and that movie The Book of Eli. The tragedy is ever present, as it’s written from the POV of a teenage girl and it’s about a world that can only get worse. If I’m honest, which I am, the entire time I was reading the series I felt the heavy weight of anxiety in my bones. Even though I knew the world wasn’t ending, knew that the moon was the same distance away as always, I found myself wanting to hoard cans of green beans under a hollowed out board in my closet, or stock up on rolls of toilet paper and keep emergency evac kits near all the exits of the house. I’d recommend all three, and have been considering pre-ordering the upcoming fourth.
Recently I’ve been on a kick of books from the POV of youths, written by adults and for adults (or youths who don’t care where a book is placed in the library, but just, for the love of all that is good and decent, want to read a well-told story), with the wisdoms and morals (for the most part) of youths. (Some to chat about are: Skippy Dies by Paul Murray, The Dubious Salvation of Jack V. by Jacques Strauss, Black Swan Green by David Mitchell, and most recently, a brilliant series of short stories by Karen Russell, St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves.)
With various subject matter and ways of approaching the reader, what they all have in common is their ability to send me back to feeling like a twelve year old, eternally hanging upside down from the edge of the sofa in the living room on a summer afternoon after karate camp let out. Reading my years away while particles of dust lazily rolled through rays of sunshine coming through the wooden blinds.
These authors, with their imitations of childhood long past, make you feel like a child again. And since college has extended the lifeline of adolescence well into the early twenties, I find it easy to fall into that mindset and yearn for what I think I remember of those days.
Did you ever ride a yellow school bus to school? I did. Always. And we were always one of the first stops in the morning, always one of the last stops in the afternoon. I remember the mornings were composed of attempting to fall asleep on the plastic, faux leather brown seats, trying to lay your head on those weird windows that only open half way, but it being nearly impossible, for you could be on the smoothest road in the city, but the bus would still bumpbubumpbumbump, keeping you awake.
The afternoons were wonderful. When I attended the small private school my mother and father taught at in Germantown, we had uniforms, polyester jumpers, Peter Pan collared shirts, hideous maroon cardigans, knee high socks. After the last bell, the cool girls would run to the bathroom before the busses got in and slip Bedazzled jeans beneath their navy blue pleated skirts.
On the afternoon bus, you’d do homework so that when you got home you could lounge and play and watch cartoons without parental interference. You’d listen to stories and hear people crack jokes.
Every now and then when you were on good terms with the cool kids you’d sit with them in the way back and bounce through the bumps. All the cool kids were in the back of the bus. Most days though, I’d curl up with a book around the middle of the bus and stick with it until my stop.
And remember when English class was called Language Arts? We had these large textbooks filled with short stories and old-time illustrations and at the end of the each story there were a bunch of comprehension questions. What a beautiful name for a subject, Language arts. It really puts the whole business in a generous light. The art of streaming together the right letters into the right words, and the right words into the right sentences. Writers should be called Language Artists, and the readers would be the connoisseurs.
John Green said it best in his book about youth, written for youth, from the point of view of a youth, An Abundance of Katherines: “…you don’t remember what happened. What you remember becomes what happened.”
And maybe that’s why these books stand out. Because they don’t feel like an attempt to remember that effusive period of time, rather they read like words from the mouths of babes. They don’t seek to capture the essence of youth, the words, the events, the characters, simply are youth.
the principal; twenty seven of thirty one
According to Nonny, Selah’s on-again, off-again stepfather, active member of the Pontomic PTA and biological father to Selah’s three younger brothers, the parents of Pontomic were in an uproar. They’d met, as they usually did, that previous Tuesday night to discuss the moral failings of their pubescent offspring.
“My Diana,” said Dr. Roshemberg, “a junior at the high school, as you all know, came home at one AM last night giggling like a hyena. She refused to calm down and so I confiscated her beeper. What do I find but message after message detailing her purchase of a package. Now, what was in that package? Perhaps I’ll never know, I thought. The next day, when my husband was sorting through our laundry, what should he find but this.” The this in question was a small plastic bag with a navy blue spade drawn on to it. Dr. Roshemberg turned a slow circle, baggie held high, as she continued with her tale. “Nothing, nothing had prepared us for this moment. The moment that our only daughter would succumb to the evil whims of such a gang as The Spades.”
Mounting cries of “here, here!” rang throughout the auditorium. Parents began to shout their own recollections of misbehavior. “My son won’t leave the house, he lives in fear!” “Our girls missed curfew three times this month! On school nights!”
“Order! Order!” Principal Remy pounded the podium with his fist, eyes darting to and fro watching rabid parents grow anxious and eager to protect their defenseless young. “We are aware of your concerns, and we are—”
“Don’t just be aware of it, do something!” rang out one voice, then another in echo.
i still love this one so much. this whole scene (titled: Escape???) isn’t in the vignettes we’re filming this summer, but is in the feature.