GENIUS: Ghostwriter manipulates letters of text in books, newspapers, what have you, to form clues that help the youths solve mysteries. His abilities transcend anagrammar. Most likely because he is a ghost.
Given that pundits like to go on about character, and how we used to have it and now we don’t, I thought it might be interesting to go back and look at some of the Sunday-school songs Americans were using to help children grow in “character” when we were -- supposedly -- better at it. What, exactly, can we learn from these songs?
Making polvoron was as much a part of my childhood as Mama’s absence was. It was a tradition, then a rite of passage made more poignant by my mother’s brief visits home. With each return came the knowledge of a new step in the polvoron process, and with each new step came the promise of my mother’s permanent return – her homecoming.
I miss the ritual of taping songs off the radio: looking for a fresh blank tape, not finding one and having to choose which cassette to sacrifice to the cause, Scotch-taping over the holes along the top to render it able to record again, and situating myself in front of the radio, waiting waiting waiting for the DJ to play my favorite songs so I could record them to listen to later.
If you are a current or recovering Person Who Observes Lent In Some Fashion, feel free to weigh my sacrifices in the balance and find them wanting. If you feel like it, tell us the weirdest/hardest/dumbest thing you ever tried to quit (for any reason, not necessarily religious) and we can revel in our successes and failures together.
It wasn’t my mother's prejudice regarding her potential adopted offspring that struck me; it was this racism infecting my adoption origin story. She hadn’t waited years and years for me because there was some baby shortage in our small Midwestern town. She had waited to adopt because she wanted an "all white" infant girl.
1. Spend your entire childhood and adolescence in Australia reading books from the northern hemisphere. Pretend that you understand the following things: mint jelly; tobogganing; conkers. Dream about snow. Dream about roasted chestnuts. Dream about mince pies. Dream about Christmas tree forests, the heavy scent of pine and cold. Dream about Christmas sweaters, the uglier the better. Dream about opening presents in front of an open fire. Dream of deep, long, dark nights, and the hope
Giving up or going forward would require all hands. And there was one additional problem: among his crew was an incapable infant me. So my father did what any good crew member would: He put me in my car seat, tied the car seat to the mast below deck, with a bungee cord as my baby sitter, and finished the race. My attachment to boats, wild and innate, grew from that day forward.
In some ways, camp was an exercise in playing pretend. If we rode horses, went swimming, shot some arrows, and never talked about our disabilities, then maybe we’d be almost normal, almost abled. There wasn’t a chance to wonder if we were just as whole as abled kids and our experiences just as valid. We accepted without hesitation that normal was the goal.