Monday, December 10, 2007

A.H.W.O.S.G.: The Box

I cannot imagine what it is like for anyone to lose both of their parents and with only a few weeks apart. It seems that his parents were very difficult, but for some reason there is not much description of what Dave and his siblings’ emotions are like. I did think it was odd that they decided to give their parents bodies for medical research. Actually he does say that arrangements had already been made by their parents, but again I wonder why they thought that was the best thing to do. Even if they did not want their kids to spend so much money with a funeral or burial it always costs less to have a body cremated. The entire confusion or lack of knowledge concerning their parent’s cremains would have been incredibly difficult for any person. This issue was mention a couple of times, but we do not just how important it is for Dave until he finds out that Beth made the decision of not having the cremains back. It is the reason why I think that he has such a hard time making the decision of throwing his mother’s cremains in the lake. I honestly would have kept either or both of my parent’s remains. I would not like the idea of them being anywhere else.

I’m not sure why ha carries around the box with him for so long. He has the box in his car and is endlessly thinking about it and wondering whether people know that his mother’s cremains are in his car. I’m not sure if it is because he doesn’t feel a connection with what is in the box and who his mother was. It was important for him to have his mother’s remains, but it seems that he has a really hard time accepting what is in the box. It has been years since his parents died and I guess he just got used to the idea of not knowing where they were and actually accepting that his parent’s remains would never be with them again. When he is finally throwing his mother’s remains he is still thinking about what could have been done better or differently. He didn’t really think of what he would do with the box until he is out at the lake. I don’t know if it is a good or bad thing that he ends without his mother’s remains. I guess he could not have handled having her with him again after so many years when he was without her for so long.

Friday, December 7, 2007

A.H.W.O.S.G. – The Real World?

At times it is difficult to make sense of what Dave is talking about when he discusses the issues of all youth. I think that, like all other people who have been in their early twenties, he discusses things endlessly which is like an inner argument/confusion he has of his own. All people of that age have similar issues of figuring out what you actually want to do with your life and trying to be serious about it. It is a little stressful to determine or figure out our life’s purpose. (I really don’t think that I could ever decide on a specific purpose). At the age of about 24 it seems that he really has his mind set on changing the world or at least for people his age.

So initially it seems that he definitely wants to be on the MTV show and always keeps in mind that it is for the sake of the magazine. He goes on for quite a while about why he should be on the show and why his character is needed. The world should know his story and experience his youth with him. Dave will be what unites all people of his age together and . . . . .
I guess the goal would be for everyone to feel as if there are other people their age who are also struggling with the same conflicts and there is a place (“the real world”) where they can share their stories. Then the only way to make sense out of one’s life is to let everyone know all the details of your life or actually the heartbreaking things which are the most interesting to anyone who will listen details. This discussion goes on through many of the book’s sections and I think that Dave is making a point about people in general. Perhaps he is also talking about himself at that age and is making a point that after all we really don’t need a TV show (even though we might still want that type of attention after being rejected) or expose ourselves that much to be content with what we do or have done (good or bad).

Thursday, December 6, 2007

A.H.W.O.S.G. – Dave: Brother/Parent/Friend

I think it is obvious that any older sibling would worry as much as Dave does for Toph. We know what has just happened to their family and certainly Dave does too. He is very aware of his feelings for his parents’ deaths and I think it is for that reason that he worries so much for Toph’s emotions. Perhaps the death of their parents has affected Dave so much and clearly had to deal with it because he was one of the older siblings and was there to help his mother and family however he could. Dave does not make his emotions obvious, but it is what he says about his relationship with Toph that allows us to know how he is actually feeling. He says many times that he and Beth want Toph to have as normal a life possible and that’s why he wants Toph involved in so many things. I guess that he thinks Toph is aware of how Dave and Beth feel about their situation and how much it actually takes to keep them together.

It must be difficult to have just had your parents die and then take on the role of a guardian. This is when I asked many times where there older brother Bill is. He does help them, but it seems that he is less involved. It would have made more sense for Bill the eldest brother which seems to have his life in place to take that responsibility because he could better handle it. Anyway, I think that Dave is definitely beginning to change in how he feels about being a parent/guardian. When he does leave Toph with the babysitter he cannot stop thinking of all the possible things that can be occurring at that very moment, but he still does not return home. He like any responsible parent always has his son/brother in his mind, but is still struggling like any guy his age who is still in the processes of maturing. Does he continue to enjoy his freedom as a twenty-something year old man or leave that to take the complete responsibility of a 10 year old boy? I don’t think it actually means either one or the other. I am definitely anticipating, not a complete resolution, but a progression to a more stable relationship however it may be labeled.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Caudron's "Befriending Barbie

Caudron attends a Barbie convention where she meets so many Barbie enthusiasts. She begins the essay by describing Debbie and her fingernails. I think Caudron focuses so much on this woman’s description because she is so different from her. Debbie is so enthusiastic about her job/hobbie and it is obvious that she is honest when giving Caudron so much information. Although Caudron does admit that these type of things easily bore her and it is difficult for her to understand what all the excitement is about. Debbie tells her that there are other things which she and her colleagues collect and I think this allows us to see that they are not necessarily fanatics of one thing, but collect what they love even if one has no relation to the other. It made me think of how I view Barbie and what many things I collect. I think the things that people often collect have something to say about their personality even if it is very diverse.

The part of this essay which I enjoyed the most was her description of the convention and the many people who attended it. It is on the first paragraph of pg. 63 where Caudron describes that years theme and how so many people were dressed in psychedelic clothing. That sounds like a lot of fun. Another thing that was surprising for Caudron was the immense variety of Barbies and the theme each Barbie represented according to her time. With so many descriptions Caudron begins to appreciate what the dolls represent and confesses she begins to change her initial views. She includes so much humor in the essay and I don’t think she was making fun of the people at the convention and how much they enjoyed what might seem like just a doll. Through that humor I think that she is telling us so much more because of her initial responses upon hearing conversations of excitement over a doll having SPF 30 sun block or the one with the big boobs. It even surprised me to know that a doll could cost more than $15,000 and that people go to great lengths to acquire them. But I think it helps to think of our own hobbies or love for material things and it makes sense to not think of the price when you truly love what you are buying.

I like that at the end of her paper she is so much more understanding of why these people do this and that within their hobbies and conventions they also seek to help others who are in need. There is such a change in Caudron that she even says, ""I’m feeling left out." Its after seeing the interactions and strong friendships that she begins to wonder about her group of friends and if any of them come close to what the Barbie friendships are like. It becomes obvious that the convention is not only about admiring a plastic doll, but it has caused so many people to experience and develop as adults.