Monday, May 30, 2011

Paul Rudd and Cicadas

(and this photo has nothing to do with either, but I took it today and it's pretty)
(OR) The people have spoken!

At least the people who are lucky enough to stumble onto my blog over the last week or so...

Guests! Visitors! I've put out a virtual Welcome Mat, a place to stomp your feet. Or perhaps you'd prefer a cup of coffee (or iced tea, it is already scorching here in Middle Georgia)?

Actually. I know what YOU WANT (through the search terms you've entered to find this blog):

1) You want to know when the cicadas will be...gone or at least quiet:

"how many more weeks left for the cicadas"
"how many more weeks will cicadas be in tennesee"
"decibel levels of 13 yr periodical cicadas"
"how many more weeks until the cicadas leave nashville"

2) Or anything related to Paul Rudd and/or his not-related-but-should-be doppelganger George Newbern:

"is paul rudd in father of the bride"
"do paul rudd and george newbern look alike"
"paul rudd in father of the bride"
"george newbern country music"

I can tell you that after spending a large amount of time outside over the last couple days the cicada song seems to be gone. As far as Middle Georgia is concerned they were audible for three solid weeks.

Now, Paul Rudd was NOT in Father of the Bride. Paul and George DO look alike. AND I know nothing about George Newbern and country music OTHER than the fact that his Father of the Bride "bride" (Kimberly Williams) is married to country singer, Brad Paisley.

Side Note: One of my best friends and former roommate, looks a lot like Kimberly Williams...(just to keep the doppelganger thing a new twist).

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Prime Number Infestation

Red eyes. They have red eyes, I tell you. RED EYES!

periodical cicada 'Magicicada septendecim' (plate 7)
"Insects, their way and means of living'' R. E. Snodgrass

Despite the fact the Southern periodical cicada only comes out from the ground every 13 years, I'm lucky enough to experience the prime number infestation first hand in middle Georgia.

I'm pretty sure it was nothing like this in Tennessee thirteen years ago!

The exoskeletons are all over the pathways on campus. I've been hit in the head by at least two times as well. Although they are harmless (non-biting, non-stinging) they are large enough to scare the crap out of you (not literally).

Honestly the worse part is the noise. OH THE NOISE! The males (of course) are so riled up, singing to impress the females sometimes it is all you can hear outside during the day.

I've Googled and researched to my heart's content to find out that the volume level of a few hundred cicadas can reach up to 120 dB. Yes. You read that correctly and here is a little chart to help you out:

•Sound of silence - 0 dB
•A whisper - 15 dB
•Normal conversation - 60 dB
•A lawnmower - 90 dB
•A car horn (toot toot) - 110 dB
•A rock concert or a jet engine - 120 dB
•A gunshot or firecracker - 140 dB

For some reason (didn't get THAT far in my research), they only sing during the day. Thank goodness. In fact, the hottest part of the day is the right time for an unbelievable concert (if you're into cicadas).

How many more weeks until this madness is over? But really, can you imagine only having 6-8 weeks of sunshine and then living the rest of your life in the ground?

Bird food for thought.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

She was a Day Tripper

One way ticket, yeah
It took me so long to find out
and I found out

--The Beatles

What's the best thing to do on a Friday afternoon in a state that's not your own? Take a day trip, of course. So we met in Juliette, GA, where they filmed the 1991 classic, Fried Green Tomatoes...

Based on the novel (with practically the same name) by Fannie Flagg. A novel I have read. I movie I have seen on more than one occasion. In fact, we studied it in a Contemporary American Literature course I took eons ago.

The food was delicious. The town was just as sweet. Friendly people, warm atmosphere. While signing guestbooks in several shops I noticed that fans are still flocking to this tiny town comprised of one street. The movie first hit theaters TWENTY years ago.

I didn't have any barbecue, but I did see where Big George made it. The secret is in the sauce (and hiding in a place no bigger than a flea). There's already been talk of going back soon and revisiting. It's less than an hour away, after all.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Reading Hour(s)

With the semester over (first year of grad school DONE!), I can move into the "traditional" Summer phase of life.

You know, a "vacation/break" phase.

Since my seventeenth year, I have had a full-time job.

Not a summer job, but a every season/month/week of the year, filled with life/death responsibility job.

This summer is a bit different.

I'm still working on the (very academic) Flannery O'Connor Review for the next few weeks, but the hours are flexible. It just HAS to get done. I'm not confined to a singular location for nine hour stretches. I can "move" around and create/schedule as I go.

Basically, I need to take advantage of this time as much as possible.

Last night began the "reading hour." But really HOURS--where I "just" read/completed a "short novel" of my OWN choosing. It wasn't assigned--it was what I wanted to read.

Despite being free from academic parameters, I realize now that I read as a "writer" or as a "professor" (both books by Francine Prose). I can't get away from that part of me now, which is nothing to really complain about (yet).

So I read the "short novel" Rare & Endangered Species by Richard Bausch...which "demonstrates how a wife and mother's suicide reverberates in the small community where she lived, and affects the lives of people who don't even know her."

(so says the blurb on the back of Wives & Lovers, the collection it appears in and which won the PEN/Malamud Award)

So there are people who "don't even know her" in the story (they are closely connected), but the story really focuses on Andrea's two adult children (James and Maizie) shortly after she commits suicide. Because she didn't leave a note, they are both left to wonder WHY and do whatever they can to comfort their grieving father.

It is divided into sections: Single/Patiently/Penance/Desire/Good-Byes/Diurnal and reads as a "classic" American short story. Nothing fancy per se, but the families aren't fancy. They're everyday people dealing with the loss in their own way. Honest.

I calculated that I read at a rate of 56 pages per hour. (Is that fast? Is that slow?) In other words, it took me about 3 hours to finish it. Tonight I am going to tackle another "short" novel or novella, the relatively famous Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I'm over Basketball!

Not exactly. I'm just done with it until October, now that the Grizzlies amazing season has officially come to an end and all. It's too painful otherwise. Does that make sense?

No lamenting here. Just letting it all wash over me, like the muddy Mississippi. I appreciate the power and the flood of emotions. I believe. It's a "you had to be there" situation to the Nth degree, because I'm still at a loss for words.

At least 18,119 other people may try to explain it to you. Who am I kidding? A majority of the city of Memphis may try to explain it to you. We're a bit passionate about our team, you see.

Maybe I'll just do it with a song instead.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011


even after:



its little heart out,

it still knows how to ROAR!




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