My 14 year old son is graduating from 8th grade this Saturday, from The Khabele School here in Austin. Khabele is a brilliant, funky, cool school where my brilliant and cool son has found a home, although he doesn’t think so. He is a musician. That is his passion, his love, and where his extreme talent and focus lie. He’s really good and I’m really jealous that he found his passion at 12 and I’m 49 and I’m still not sure who I want to be when I grow up.
School for the boy is a nuisance. He has fleeting interest in going to school, mostly for the social scene and fun times. He doesn’t understand why he has to learn, for example, algebra. Or history. Only because he loves Led Zeppelin and Jack White and he wants to be able to write music with lyrics, does he enjoy English class. Plus, he is a good–sometimes great–writer. But he doesn’t even like to read.
I don’t understand this thinking. I loved school: I loved studying and learning and new notebooks and pens. I still do. If I could do anything, I would read all day long. I read at least two novels a week, and that’s only because I can only read in passing or before bed–which is hard because usually I have a lot of television to catch up on. Learning, reading, knowing, doing. I love all of these.
If “he” was a “she”, I think we would have been shopping for an outfit to wear on Saturday. There would be a discussion about hair, makeup, nails. I understand all of this, because I’m a girl. For girls, these are the distractions for “moments”. The fussing helps us quell our nerves about an event, our place in the world, and how to handle ourselves. I wish I knew what boys did–they seem to have only three gears, ecstatic, comatose or angry–and most of the emotions are lumped under “angry”.
So now it’s graduation time for the boy. Just as he is growing taller and stronger of body, he is growing stronger and surer of mind and moving to the final phase of his school career. He is completely unconcerned and unaffected by the pageantry of this time. He doesn’t even want to go to the graduation and award ceremony–his exact words were, “what will they give me an award for–being the most sarcastic kid in class?” Maybe. That should be an award, because behind sarcasm is wit and humor. A friend whose child also goes to Khabele but is older said that each child has something said about them as they pass across the stage, because each child is unique and has their own gift to give the world. We’ll see.
Wow. The talent that lives in this world is overwhelming.
Series of Hyperrealistic Sculptures by artist Ron Mueck. The works in the realm of the ultra-real where he spends hundreds of hours perfecting the shape of the human form, the appropriate color of skin, and the most realistic hair texture.
Photos by Thomas Salva courtesy Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain
I would like to be compensated for the dozens (if not hundreds) of hours I have spent watching the Real Housewives of Wherever. I have no defense for watching; obviously I am a voyeur, a girly girl and I’m secretly in love with Andy Cohen. Now that WWHL is on, who needs the reunion shows to get a glimpse of the person I WISH was my gbf. Sadly, today I am sick in bed, and watching the first episode of the RHOBH reunion.
I really don’t even know where to start, so I’ll start here. Embarrassingly, I know every detail these women are bitching about. I even have opinions and have taken sides in their disagreements, and I even feel strongly about some of those opinions. For example, Brandi should not be on the show. She should be on the Real Housewives of Compton. If you have no life and cannot stop being distracted by all things media, you will think that is hilarious. Otherwise, just keep reading.
My feeling at this point is–we have all seen enough of the fake, staged, drunk, goaded, destructive rhinestone parade that is the entire Real Housewives brand. These women have lost all sense of decorum, while wearing $50K in clothes and jewels, with a team of stylists, hairdressers and makeup artists at their beck and call. If you look at older photos of these girls, they vaguely resemble their former selves–inside and out.
What I would really like to see are women and families having REAL issues, conflict and actually working that conflict out in an honest, mature and healthy way. I watched a bit of an obscure movie on HBO this weekend, “Cinema Verite”, with Tim Robbins, Diane Lane and the guy from the Sopranos. It was a film about the first “reality TV” franchise, the Loud family. The show destroyed their lives for a time, but the family survived (not intact) and went on to different trajectories than they most likely would have gone on before. But the Loud family attempted to show a real family, albeit a bourgeois family from Santa Barbara. These shows are not about reality. No one has class; I am constantly amazed by the lengths these people will go to to be “right”. In “real life”, I cannot imagine that these people would speak to each other the way they speak to each other on camera–except Brandi, of course, who has publicly shown her baboon bootie via Twitter and Facebook in her rants against her ex-husband Eddie whats-his-face and his now wife, Leann Rimes.
Here’s what I would REALLY like to see–families with teenagers and younger kids, maneuvering their ways through the sea of Booster Clubs, sports, friends, work–simply, life. Trust me, there is enough drama in REAL life, I can promise you. My family would not need to be goaded, scripted or encouraged. BUT we would, and do, treat each other with kindness, respect and love. Which is more than I can say for the “Real” Housewives.
So there. Now ask yourself, am I still going to watch these shows? We’ll see.
Doesn’t that look like a cozy evening by the fire.
The common thread for our recent stories seems to be “old stuff”. But between the Round Top Antique Festival and the Preservation Austin*Heritage Homes Tour (and of course the fact that you’re reading this on Red Chair Market) the theme is actually really cool old stuff.
So this upcoming weekend is a cool-old-stuff lollapalooza. Start at Round Top (see our tips from last week) then cap it off Saturday with a visit to some of the homes that may have originally housed those treasures. (See the deets and a chance to win tickets at the end of the article).
The theme for this year’s tour is Historic Austin Homes and Gardens, so I’m quivering with anticipation to see not only the architecture, but the grounds. The 6 properties encompass a wide range of Austin history, with each home showcasing its own take on preserving the past while living in the…
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I ask myself this question a lot. Who am I? Who am I meant to be? Usually where my internal conversation goes is, well, nowhere. I am pretty ADD, so the thought is pushed out of the way by other, more important thoughts, like what do I need from the grocery store, is there anything at the dry cleaners, and what bills HAVE to be paid TODAY.
The other day, my husband asked me if I was tired of operating in “panic”mode, and not having a plan and process in place. The first thought that came into my head was something I won’t say here, because this is a family place, but you can imagine. The second thought was, “well of COURSE I would prefer to have a ‘plan’, you idiot, but I’m a freaking mother and no matter what the hell I WANT, it’s not going to happen”. Then, I realized that maybe that is who I am, a person who likes the adrenaline of always moving, always having the proverbial balls in the air. I’m not referring to what I wanted to do to my husband right then–I do like to be busy all the time. Until I don’t. Then I just want to crash in my favorite spot, the right side of the bed.
Moving sixty miles an hour or stopped. I’ve said that of my children many times; but I think the same holds true for me. I enjoy doing a lot of projects at the same time, because I can. I can read a book, listen to the television, answer a question and cook at the same time. Maybe while hopping on one foot–I’ll have to try that. Is that because I’m ADD? Possibly. I like to think it’s because I am the consummate multi-tasker. And while I AM more than a mother, it’s the very fact that I AM a mother to four kids that I am, who I am.
Does this answer the question of “Who am I. . .Really?” No, it doesn’t. But it does allow me to forgive myself for my perceived slights and appreciate the fact that I am. And that I am okay.
I watch a LOT of television. I rarely actually “watch” anything–I keep up to date with all of the must-watch shows (and those little television elves are talented and BUSY) by having the television on running the DVR of the shows that are must-watch to be a relevant person in 2012.
Here’s the worst (maybe not the worst) part–I feel a sense of accomplishment when I can “delete” a show from the DVR. I get some sort of satisfaction out of wading my way through the maze of visual chick-let, pseudo-news and mindless drivel that is my DVR lineup. When the percentage of space used drops below, say, 60%, I am
In my defense, I do try to balance the drivel with a lot of History/Biography/Discovery shows. I can kill a man, bury him in an ancient ruin, dig up and analyze the remains and then write his biography. This worries my husband just a little. I love the Smithsonian Channel and the Science channel. I have seen the Stephen Hawking “There is no God” episode several times. Well, I’ve heard it. My favorite of ALL shows is “Ancient Aliens”. Don’t even get me started on the Ancient Aliens debate. I have actually WATCHED every episode. I am such a geek.
Am I wasting my time? I don’t think so. I feel it’s similar to our ancestors hanging in the town square and catching all the 411, heading over to catch a bawdy Shakespearean tragedy or comedy and then hitting the local pub after and getting all the news of the day. It’s the same thing, but on a global level. It’s also a bit of anthropological experiment: what the psyche of the American (man, woman, teen) in 2012. What are the trends, what is acceptable, what do we as a culture aspire to achieve?
Now, if you believe that, then you are as delusional as I can sometimes be. I just like the stories. I have the room in my minutiae-filled brain to accommodate all of the pop-television information I can jam in there. What can I say — I love television.
My husband says I am ADDICTED to Twitter. I am going to have to agree–that’s the first step to recovery, right? Admitting there’s a problem. Here’s the thing–if I am wrong, I don’t want to be right.
Twitter is the perfect marriage of everything I love:
- Talking–aforementioned husband can attest to this.
- Witty banter–who among us did NOT love the back and forth poking and jesting of the beloved Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd on “Moonlighting”? Come on.
- Celebrities, et al. tweeting for themselves — you never know WHAT is going to happen–trainwreck? drunk tweet? insight of amazing wisdom and sparkling brilliance? You just never know, and I want to be there to witness it live and in person.
- Speed–the witty banter, comments, retweets, arguments, snarky comments, tips, tricks, news, views–all scrolling past my bleary eyes. I love it all
- Accessibility–have a burning desire to be heard by Oprah? With Twitter, you have the opportunity. For me, that’s the most compelling aspect of Twitter. Real people who make real change in the real world really do tweet, read tweets and respond. Five years ago, you would have had to write a letter to an editor or production company or agent for a chance to be heard. That’s all changed.
While I love Twitter, I know a lot of people who don’t. To some degree, the comparison between Facebook and Twitter may be like Coke vs. Pepsi, Mayonnaise vs. Miracle Whip, Crest vs. Colgate–you just like what you like. I’d like to think it’s just fear of the unknown–I know before I dove into the Twitter pool, I didn’t “get it” either. Really, though, comparing the two isn’t quite fair. While they are both mediums of communication, one is really better for communication among friends and family and the other is better for mass communication, news and events. I’ll let you decide which is which.
What I know for sure: there aren’t six degrees of separation any more.