Friday, June 20, 2008

okay, fine, here's the post i've been working on.

all late about it, i know.

first of all, had a very interesting train ride the other night. [oh, the midnight red line.] 
1. about five teenage boys were harmonizing by the door, sitting across from each other. they were good - like boys II men, only a little more explicit, i think. ["am i the only one... or one of many men in your life..." i mean, good to know.] 
2. that blind guy was asking for money and food - which was interesting first because i recognized him from the last time he was asking for money on the train. but i'm really intrigued by the way he speaks. he says, "i'm asking for anyone's help, on the train. will anyone here notice me, on the train?" i feel like it's really direct - like, i see you. we're all here on the train. i've been doing a little bit of a study about how people ask for money ever since we talked about it in class. [call me a jerk for having an academic interest in this, though.]
3. a bunch of girls got on the train with matching big hair, fancy clothes, drunkenness, and apparent disregard for open container laws. it always freaks me out when large groups of people are dressed so much alike, but i guess they shop together and take their cues from each other, too.
4. i love it when the lights go out while the train is running. gives you such a careening out of control kind of feeling.

THEN, a guy on the bus the other day CALLED me FAT. as a precursor to this story, i think i'm pretty aware of where i am on the weight spectrum, and whether or not i'm okay with that isn't really the point of the story - it's just too good not to share.
g: [scoots over in his seat and hits me] oh, sorry! i didn't realize you were so wiiiide.
b: [smiling, because that's what i do] what?!
g: no, it's good. you've got a lot for a man to hold! [smiling, as if he's friendly and talking about something totally normal] i see by your rings, you've got a lot for a man to hold... it's good...
b: [decisively turns away]
like, overall, he was being really nice and not at all creepy. he was giving off kind of a grandfatherly vibe, even. but still, please don't talk about my weight or sexual activity on the bus, stranger. and what is it with this married vibe i'm apparently giving off? i wear a ring on the middle finger of my right hand, people. learn the code.

[later edit: i'm embarrassed that, apparently, i had no idea what was going on. sorry, guys.]

on a related note, saw a bride smoking a cigarette outside the church before her wedding. cupcake dress, bridesmaids, and a cigarette. it was so awesome. i made up a whole story about her while we were waiting at the red light in our apartment locator's car, to the mortification of my roommates. [they prefer awkward silence to my saying "congratulations!" out the window to smoking brides.]

and, interesting on the internet...
Let me make clear again why I keep referring to the overdiagnosis and overmedication of children today as a “narrative” – the sort of phenomenon that deserves to find its place among what Mintz calls “public panics” – and not as an established fact. It’s because I believe that, over the past decade or so, scattered reports of increased diagnoses of mental health ills and of increasing use of psychotropic medications by the young have been woven into a scary storyline that distorts the reality of what’s happening to kids in our country.
judith warner is always so interesting, i think, and i really like this article [and, if you're interested in her opinion about what's actually happening or not happening with overmedication, this previous one] not even because of the content, but because of what she says about narrative.

"all stories are true" is, i think, from things fall apart. i'm thinking about two things, weirdly - urban legends in general and whether anyone's actually been killed after flashing their headlights at another car, and that urban legend about abraham lincoln's calling harriet beecher stowe "the little lady who started this war," or whatever. but clearly something doesn't have to be true to be effective, which i like. it puts that whole "what is truth" thing into perspective. or out of perspective. lots more to say on this, but i think i'm done for now.

playing around on with the "random" generator, this was the first true story i found. nice. and you guys say i never write about baseball anymore.

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