Monday, March 19, 2007

The Spring Break of Much Nerdiness

I got back yesterday from spring break, spent mostly in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. It snowed about eighteen inches and I spent most of Friday shoveling.

Early in the week, I read Fun Home, which I recommend to everyone (I'd lend out my copy, but it's already being borrowed). There was one segment of it that really stood out to me where the artist's father writes her a letter about Faulkner and the area of Pennsylvania where they live (which happens to be just down Route 80 from beautiful, sunny East Stroudsburg). He says that Faulkner's constant setting, Yoknapatawpha County, isn't all that different from that area of Pennsylvania, and he's right. On Wednesday morning, I sat and ate breakfast in Snydersville Diner and realized that the Pleasant Valley girls sitting two tables away could have been Caddy Compson (or maybe the trailer-trash girl at the Volkswagon dealership who could have been really pretty if she wasn't wearing so much makeup is more of a Caddy) and that the fry cook was Benjy. It was a "Sound and the Fury" kind of breakfast and I started to wonder if that makes me closest to Quentin. I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire.

I spent a lot of time last week reading Watchmen, and wondering why I hadn't gotten to it sooner. If you have any interest in the ability of graphic novels to be valid literary works, I would highly recommend it. It's pretty dense, and there's a lot of interesting existential questioning done by a character who is practically a god, and it seemed like most of the characters had daddy issues, at least to some extent. But then, that's kind of a staple of comic books, isn't it? Batman had to avenge his father's death, Superman's father sent him away from Krypton, Peter Parker betrayed his father figure, Uncle Ben. I bet the Wonder Twins' dad left their mom.

Also, I said I didn't want to get into another serialized drama on television. "I get too involved," I said. "Remember 'Lost,' John? Remember when you used up two whole weekends catching up on the episodes of the first two seasons? Remember when they're toying with your heart and mind?" But I didn't listen, and now I'm totally hooked on "Heroes." There's a character who can bend space and time! And an indestructible cheerleader! I've watched all but the last three episodes. Considering the show's creators have a five-year plan, it looks like I'll keep watching.

So yes, I spent spring break reading comic books and watching a television show about superheroes. And...I also got a tattoo of an ampersand on my left bicep. I'll post some pictures of it when I get a chance. Yeah, I'm a geek. I don't mind it.

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