Its been a month or so since my last post and how I long for lazy summer days. Since my last post, I have finished my summer Shakespeare course (Merchant of Venice, King Lear, Measure for Measure, Henry VIII, and Much Ado for those of you keeping score), and make the trek up to my folk's house in American Fork. A few things about that first:
For the first time ever, I opened my eyes to that gorgeous drive. From the low desert of Phoenix to the forest environs of Flag to the high desert and strange reds, oranges and grays of Cameron and the gaping mouth of ole Grandy herself. Page, Glen Canyon, Kanab, Mount Carmel, oh my! I would imagine that living couched between Glen Canyon, Zion’s park and only hours away from the Grand Canyon would be every cliff junkie’s dream. I love how as you drive up the 89, between Mount Carmel and the 70 turn off, a creek (pronounced in my home town of Logan, UT as “crick”) accompanies you running north for miles and miles, not to mention the grassy mountain meadows and groves. Anyway—I am glad I finally noticed that.
My parents' house was lovely. It was so nice to relax and enjoy their company. Dad took us to see Nacho Libre--a highlight to be sure. "Choncho--when you are a man...sometimes you wear stretchy pants. It's for fun."
Tina and I did something different this trip. We listened to a book on CD. Chaim Potok’s The Chosen to be precise. It was a nice experience, an enjoyable novel and a great way to pass the time. Even better—I can count it as one of my Young Adult Fiction novels in this upcoming semester’s class. I also finished Richard Russo’s Empire Falls—-a great East of Eden-esque family epic. I really enjoyed it. I love books about regular people with regular problems. It takes a talented writer to make those regular things seem important and significant—-a lot like the way that we view our own lives: the significance is in the regularity. Anyway, I recommend it, oh thou thousands of my readership. Russo is the kind of author that inspires young wannabes like me to start writing that novel that they say everybody thinks that they have in them. I actually have what I think is a pretty good idea. Just like everybody else.
Another book I have finally been able to put a significant dent in because of the marvelous invention and never tiring vocal chords of the magnificent audiobook is Herman Melville’s Moby Dick (careful not to forget the ‘r’ in Herman, lest the old coot become He-man, which is actually not a bad nickname for someone with such magnanimous prose-power—“By the Power of Great-White-Skull!”). If you have never read, or never gotten past the first chapter of Ahab’s Monomaniacal Adventure here is a brief synopsis of what to expect: one chapter of excellent, steady moving plot between four chapters of another book titled Everything You Ever Cared To Know About Whaling’s Guide For Suckers Who Thought They Were Reading Moby Dick, One of America’s Treasures. It’s some heavy stuff--seriously, if you want to learn how to decapitate a sperm whale, Melville's your man. But—again, give me an hour in the car and I can knock off a good five chapters! Ahoy me hardies!
In other news, I am back to the grind of the grad school pursuit. I have narrowed my search to 10 or 12 schools and am feeling pretty good about my choices. The kicker becomes this whole GRE thing. I have good grades: a 4.0 over the last two years at ASU of my English and ed. studies, I think that I have a fairly decent writing sample and the ability to write decent personal statements—but that dang GRE! Why must it reveal my averageness when I have done so much to cover it up!? I bit the bullet and have been taking a $400 dollar prep course. As soon as I can actually talk myself out of my deranged osmosis-will-suffice study habits, I may actually make some good use of the money spent there.
Also of summer importance: the Rentals and Ozma—-two of the greatest summer bands of my youth have reunited and are touring the country together playing such favorites as Eponine (yeah, I know that is an ’03 clip, but such editing and sound quality!) and I Just Threw Out the Love of My Dreams (I know, not good editing OR sound quality—but that’s Rachel Haden and she is singing one of my favorite songs of all time with the heart and soul of Weezer, one Matt Sharp [parenthesis within a parenthesis—-yeah! See my "What Happened to Weezer" article--this blog's first post]). Ozma reminds me of being married with no kids which meant still being a kid which was fun but seems so long ago. For me they are the perfect punk-pop band--different from Weezer becasue when I first met them they were just kids. Plus, who wouldn't love a band who write songs about Back to the Future, Zelda, Natalie Portman and cover the Tetris theme? The Rentals remind me of being 18 and being a kid but feeling like an adult—-like I knew everything. Matt Sharp was always the funnest thing about seeing Weezer play. Both are great bands: if they come to your town you should go so you can tell me about it because they are coming here on a Sunday!