Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Sundries, 13

1. We own and drive a Prius, and those acts alone seem to engender some amusement--and even hostility, at times. In the movies, Priuses are a symbol of latte-loving Lefties and assorted dorks. Remember the 2010 Will Farrell-Mark Wahlberg cop comedy, The Other Guys? Farrell drives a red Prius that ends up as a naughty-and-nasty love nest for some homeless dudes. (See the image!) And it's a symbol for Farrell's fecklessness. And remember Horrible Bosses? (Again--see image.) In that film (2011) the Prius represents the impotence of Jason Bateman (who drives it) and his quasi-homicidal buddies.

Okay, all's fair in comedy, and I can take it! Less amusing are the times that other drivers have flipped me off while passing--or, even worse, the several times our car has been keyed in a parking lot. I guess the car has come to represent the Left (where I proudly reside, by the way), and some anger from Elsewhere ends up as scratches on the car that gets us 50 mpg in the winter, 60 in the summer (even 70 on some trips). I'm not sure why our conservative use of fuel is such a pisser-offer, but it apparently is ...

(BTW: Searching for images, I see that Horrible Bosses 2--with the same guys--is coming out, just in time for Thanksgiving. I will utter no turkey jokes ... and I will see it!)

2. We'll be heading off to Stratford, Ont., soon for a week-long orgy of play-going. We'll see eleven plays in six days, including two different versions of A Midsummer Night's Dream--one traditional, one avant-garde (directed by Peter Sellars). We've gone every summer since 2001 (I'd been there a time or two before it became one of our end-of-summer rituals). We stay in a little hotel right downtown, enabling us to park our car all week long; we can walk to all the venues. (There are several theaters.) I'll be blogging about our experiences and will thus put Frankenstein Sundae on hiatus for a week.) Here's a link to the plays this season--most of which we'll be seeing.

3. Although I retried from public school teaching in January 1997--and from Western Reserve Academy in the spring of 2011--I still feel nostalgic when I see the school buses rolling and see kids with backpacks and books. The other day, in the coffee shop, I overheard two WRA young men talking about Tim O'Brien and The Things They Carried, a "summer reading" book for their English class. I got to meet O'Brien not long ago when he did a gig at Hiram College (Oct. 6, 2010). I'm sure he doesn't remember. Anyway, that coffee-shop conversation--about a book, about a writer--made me a little nostalgic (a dangerous emotion!). I know I cannot return to the classroom (age, health, energy), and I have no desire to spend my evenings and weekends grading essays and vocab and whatever. Still ... I do miss the kids ... and sitting in a room talking about things I care about ... I miss those things--deeply.

5. Joyce and I are also planning (tentatively) one last drive across the country. There's a Jack London Symposium (a biannual event) out in Berkeley, Calif., in late October, and it would be nice to see again some former colleagues from LondonWorld. We've reserved a room out there--and paid the symposium registration fee. But we'll wait to see how we are feeling as the date gets closer. Cross-country trips have been a part of my life since 1949 (the first--I was a few months shy of five), and they have enormous emotional significance for me. We were always heading out to the Northwest to see my dad's family (a big one--there are countless Dyers and Dyer-relatives still populating the region). If we go, I'll probably weep all the way out, sob uncontrollably all the way back.

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