Friday, August 17, 2001
I'm up far too late tonight, keeping a friend (who's working on deadline) company. While the editing process for that project rolls on, I've been cruising blogspace. It turns out that the only other people posting to their sites at this hour are kids in their early teens reveling in their last few days of bedtime-free summer vacation.
Looking over the angst and confusion flowing from these prepubescent bloggers over what life is throwing their way, I'm reminded what it was like to be that age. It makes me extremely grateful that I'm long done with part of my life.
I'm also struck by the fact that, when I was their age, these kids hadn't even been born. Yet here they are, putting up Web sites and writing in complete (if painfully misspelled) sentences.
3:03 AM < To return to this entry, save this link
It's long been my belief that clichés become clichés because they're true. Last entry, proof that "the kids are all right" was unearthed. Today, we find evidence that it might not be a bad idea to "never trust anyone over thirty." In fact, thirty might be too generous.
Many friends and relatives have described to me what they call "senior moments." Usually, these take the form of forgetting where they left something they were just holding, being unable to recall the name of a familiar person, or struggling to remember a common word. I've always nodded sympathetically or laughed with them, as the particular instance demanded. But in the back of my mind, there's been this nagging little worry because the same things happen to me all the time. Was I prematurely losing my memory, I would wonder?
As it happens, there was no need for me to worry. I am losing my memory, but there's nothing premature about it. If a recent study out of the University of Michigan is correct, this process generally begins at around twenty.
Once upon a time, news like this would have worried me greatly. Now, I take comfort in it. Finally, I've got confirmation that our minds are slowly but surely slipping away from each and every one of us. And that's just as it should be.
12:50 AM < To return to this entry, save this link
Wednesday, August 15, 2001
From a former roommate comes some excellent news for my current roommate. College roomie Steve tipped me off to an article from the Sunday Times of London that claims children who play video games are brighter than their non-player peers.
Finally, I see the value of all those PS2 titles Hutch has amassed in the last few months. The increased powers of concentration imparted by his hours of gameplay must be why he almost always routs me whenever we have a pun war.
4:57 PM < To return to this entry, save this link
Sunday, August 12, 2001
Had a rather wonderful "small world" experience last night. My parents took me to see a hilarious, laugh-a-second performance of the Reduced Shakespeare Company at the Kennedy Center. This "other RSC" (not to be confused with the better-known and much less funny Royal Shakespeare Company) is on a US tour through December, and will pick up again in April. If you have the chance, I highly recommend seeing this show. Knowledge of the Bard is optional; in fact, you'll be surprised by how much Shakespeare you didn't know you knew as you sit there and laugh your ass off.
When one of the performers, David Razowsky, was introduced, he was identified as a graduate of Northern Illinois University, my alma mater. Although such luminaries as Dan "Homer Simpson" Castellaneta, three-time Academy Award® nominated actress Joan Allen, Academy Award® winning director Robert Zemeckis, and Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert have passed through its cinderblock halls, NIU isn't exactly a household name. Intrigued, I wanted to find out if Mr. Razowsky's status as a fellow Husky (no, not those Huskies; or those) was true or simply an obscure joke.
Luckily, David and his excellent stage colleagues Karl and Reed were waiting in the lobby to greet the public, sign autographs, and sell some RSC swag. When I asked David about NIU, he confirmed that he had gone there, getting a degree in photojournalism in the 80's. As I didn't arrive there until the fall of 1990, we missed sharing those halls of academe by several years. Still, we recognized all the same DeKalb-area landmarks, and we clearly held a common understanding about the dorms.
But that wasn't all. In further conversation, he revealed that he'd grown up in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. Rogers Park is the most recent ancestral home of my father's side of the family. It's where I spent the first five years of my life, and an aunt of mine still holds down the fort for us there. My father, David and I reminisced about the old stomping grounds, including the Dairy Queen, where my dad may or may not have served young David an ice cream cone at some point, and the Fish Keg on Howard Street, source of many tasty meals for us all.
David echoed my own thoughts as we strolled the down the twin Memory Lanes of Ridge Avenue and Normal Road, eager for return visits to both places. Perhaps I'll make a pilgrimage out that way soon. I might even time it to coincide with that quintessential DeKalb event, CornFest. Here's hoping David can swing his own homecomings in the not-to-distant future as well.
1:43 PM < To return to this entry, save this link
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