Monday, November 23, 2009

Giving Thanks in Kentucky

It's been some time since I spent a holiday with my family down in Kentucky. And when I say "holiday," I'm referring to either of the two major ones - Thanksgiving and/or Christmas. Of course this is subjective and others might have two completely different "major" holidays. But I think most of you would agree that the two I've mentioned are probably the most family oriented out of all the others. I'm sure there are many of you that have moms, dads, brothers, sisters, grandmas and grandpas living a great distance from where you call home. Such is the case with me and it's been like that for the past 21 years.

It used to be relatively easy to make the almost 500 mile trip from here to there. 53 minus 20 equals 33, and at 33 I still had lots of energy and the long drive wasn't long at all. Over the years I've racked up at least 15,000 miles traveling to and from My Old Kentucky Home in Greensburg, Kentucky. My body is less energy efficient, has less shock absorption capability, and what used to take around 7 hours to drive, now takes about 9, sometimes 10 hours. It's not that I don't enjoy myself, it's the plain and simple fact that my body doesn't enjoy its self.

During the late 80s, 90s, and into the early years of this decade, I tried my best to alternate the holidays I'd spend in Kentucky with my folks. One year it'd be Christmas, the next it'd be Thanksgiving. Whatever holiday I didn't spend in Kentucky, would be the one we'd share with my wife's family here. (I had never before heard the words "ethnic food" until I began having holiday dinners with my wife's family.)

Things change. Time doesn't slow down, there's really no fountain of youth, and aging certainly occurs with or without any help from us. What I was thankful for yesterday, might just be something I'm unthankful for today (if you've ever found money and then had to give it back you know what I'm talking about). But it doesn't mean I should stop giving thanks, and I haven't.

So thank you for coming here. I hope what you read causes you to do a little extra thinking. And if I've wasted your time, I apologize. But please don't let it stop you from coming back. I might eventually say something you can relate to. Or not.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Closing the business (or the business of closing)

I hear it every year at about this same time. Not only do I hear it, but I kind of partake in it. Closing the garden. It can also be called winterizing. You folks livin in the northeast know what I'm talkin about. It entails a little or a lot of the following: cutting back (or pulling) spent perennials, weeding, wrapping and draining hoses, shoveling mulch, maybe some transplanting, tool and mower cleaning, and if you live in the snow belt (an area known around here as "North of I-80") winterizing might also involve attaching a snow plow blade to your riding mower or lawn tractor.

I don't like this winterizing and closing business one bit. I know what you're gonna say: "A dormant season with cold temperatures is necessary for some plants." Okay, I'll give you that, but it's not a necessity for humans. As a matter of fact, a dormant season wouldn't be necessary at all if you used annuals instead of perennial flowers. Of course it's not as easy as changing the type of flowers you grow if you want to do away with winter.

I suppose there's a chance I might be sadly affected even more than I am during winter should there ever come a time when winters would be no more. After all, the kid in me says Santa still lives and gives toys to all the good boys and girls. And I like to think that I'm a good boy.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

Naked or nude?

I remember a discussion in one of my Women's Studies classes from college. We were talking about the objectification of women in art and viewed a sampling of various paintings by famous, and not so famous, artists. The paintings were mostly of women; but we hit a snag when it came to what type of painting - was the female body in the painting nude or naked? Does objectification come into play when one says that females (or males for that matter) are naked when they don't have any clothes on? Or are they just nude? What's the difference? A critical analysis of both the noun nude and the adjective naked and their usage might suggest both negative and positive connotations when used to describe the unclothed human body; especially if the body being depicted is animate. When you look at a naked body, male or female, what do you see? Art, as in a sculpture or painting of a nude human figure; or something that's defenseless, unprotected and exposed (naked)?

In "The Male Body," Susan Bordo writes: "For just as the beautiful bodies subject us women to (generally) unrealizable models of the kind of female we must become in order to be worthy of attention and love, they also subject men and boys to (generally) unrealizable models of the kind of female they must win- with equally destructive consequences."

It's odd how a writer's mind works sometimes. You might be wondering what caused me to come up with the topic for this post.

Naked or nude?