All posts by Evolution of X
Posted by Evolution of X on January 15, 2013
A little while back, WordPress suggested a photo prompt to recap the year in pictures. Life’s been hectic around here lately but I finally got around to putting together a little photo essay of the newest members of our family. We adopted Jack and Ozzie in December of 2011. Here’s a little bit of their first year with us:
I might dote on them a bit.
How about ya’ll? Do you have any furry family members you dote on? I know about some of you but always love to hear another pet story.
Posted by Evolution of X on January 11, 2013
After just a year of blogging, I’ve finally decided on a theme! In the beginning, I had some vague notion of writing through my frustrations and trying to find the humor in my life. And it’s been fun. Mostly, it’s allowed me to find out what I enjoy writing about and what others seem to enjoy reading.
But looking back at all I’ve written, I’ve come to this conclusion: I’m not a specialist. Or rather, like most of us, I’m a specialist in many areas. I’m a parent (of neurologically atypical kids), a writer, an amateur photographer, an environmentalist, and a collector of various and sundry bits of natural history and pop culture flotsam. I’m middle-aged, gay, autistic, and vegetarian. I love science fiction, fossils and deserted islands.
And I’m a child of the seventies and eighties. Much of who I am was formed during the Cold War when disco was king and Jordache jeans were cool. I read post-apocalyptic fiction way before it was mass-marketed as the cinematic video games that captivate my sons. The house I grew up in had shag carpet and a TV antenna on the top. My dad drove a station wagon. I saw the sunsets turn crimson after Mt. St. Helens erupted.
So what does that all add up to? Generation X. The “baby busters,” the MTV generation, slackers – we’ve been called a lot of things. We’re a diverse lot, but we have much in common. Many of us, like me, are in their forties now. Some have grown kids or are raising teenagers and we’ve become the dorky parents who don’t “understand” youth culture and tell our kids to turn the music down.
Most of us are juggling a lot of responsibilities and that stresses us out. We’re learning to care for aging parents even as we finish raising our kids. We’re trying to balance work with family life and still find time to take care of ourselves. Many of us are highly educated but underemployed. Wages and salaries are low, and we’re struggling with debt. If we own a house, chances are it’s worth less than we paid for it. And we’re doing it all while we learn to deal with our own aging bodies.
And no matter how you voted in the last election or what church you go to, you share childhood memories with other members of your generation because you were stewed in the same cultural soup. So I’m starting a new blog called The Evolution of Gen X where I will write about all these things. I hope you’ll stop by and check it out.
Fork in My Eye was great fun and a sincere thanks to all my readers. I didn’t know quite what to expect when I started blogging and was happily surprised to feel so connected with people from all over our country and the world. I’ll still be here reading your blogs (though my gravatar will appear as Evolution of X now). FIME won’t go away just yet but I’m excited about my new project.
This link will get you there. I hope you enjoy it.
Posted by Evolution of X on January 3, 2013
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 24,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 6 Film Festivals
Posted by Evolution of X on December 31, 2012
Now that the shopping is all done, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some vintage Christmas ads. Here’s a few Christmas gift ideas that might not go over so well today:
So what did you get for Christmas? What’s your favorite gift this year (received or given)?
Posted by Evolution of X on December 25, 2012
A few days ago, while visiting my parents on the Mississippi Gulf coast, I went for walk on the beach with my camera. I was watching the sun set and trying to photograph a great blue heron perched on a piling, when this group flew over. When I zoomed in, I was startled to realize they were great egrets. I’ve never seen so many together before.
Posted by Evolution of X on December 22, 2012
Posted by Evolution of X on December 15, 2012
Posted by Evolution of X on December 9, 2012
All my sanctuaries are green and empty of people or at the edge of the sea and deserted. Some are hard to get to and some are harder. Some have names like music – Aransas, Edisto, Hatteras, the South San Gabriel River. Some are just fun to say – Abernathy, Little Pine Garnet Mine. My newest has a clunky unfortunate name that sounds like machines, all metal and rust, like a steam engine pumping, like a Victorian shipwreck, iron hull screeching against the sea, some poor lost soul’s clumsy surname – Shackleford.
What a clumsy word for the hissing of shifting sand, the hush of the clamoring surf, all that motion and energy and peace and nothing to witness it but the gulls and wild ponies. Nothing comes here that doesn’t swim or fly or float. A fluid island, creeping grain by grain along the coast like a beast made of sand and salt and bits of shell, feather, bone and fossil, where grass roots itself in dunes and sea birds feed and shelter but just for awhile. The next storm will shift it, divide it, cut a channel through or join it with another – barrier islands don’t stay individual.
For 400 years the shaggy ponies have survived an ocean away from Spain where they began – living on rainwater and occasional springs, swimming in salt channels, eating grass dry as chaff. The wild-eyed, scarred horses – exposed on a shifting pile of sand in the heat, bearing by turns the huge summer sun or the thrashing rain and shrieking winds with nothing but a dune to huddle behind. Sometimes the ocean wells up and washes over everything. But they drop their foals in the spring and live another year.
The Gulf Stream passes near here, a river of tropic water surges by just miles offshore just before it swings away into the massive Atlantic. It flings Florida conches and queen’s helmets onto shore, the remains of milder latitudes carried here like a message I’m not equipped to understand. But I keep trying. I’ll spend my life trying.
Someone here salts the sea with wine and whiskey bottles. Green seems the favorite. There’s surprisingly little plastic. Just colored glass to shatter in the surf and melt in the pounding like a sliver of frosted soap for some tourist like me to find like a treasure – beach glass. And I do. And I keep it. Because it’s a bit of the message but only a tiny part.
All the questions I see in the stars at night, I can find here washed up on the sand, but written in shell and bone instead of ancient light. The math is the same, only more apparent – almost. So I pick up the bits and bring them home. A snail made this shell from calcium and carbon it soaked from the sea. Maybe a hermit crab used it too and discarded it again. Then the warm sea river carried it here to me. Maybe I’ll put it in my garden – pick it up occasionally when I can’t remember how the ocean sounds because I’m 200 miles away, imagine the snail and the crab and the stardust in its atoms. But mostly to call to mind the quiet thunder of the surf and horses’ hooves, the tick-tick-hiss of dunes creeping grain by grain, and the windchime rake of empty shells in the undertow. The sun and salt and winter wind sucking the water from my skin until it’s hard just to swallow.
I’ll keep doing this, every time I come here or any place like it. Combing the wrackline like a priest, looking for portents in the shell and flotsam – a hollow wing bone jutting from a dune, a fossilized scrap of turtle shell, fish vertebrae, a bit of coal from a steamship wreck, a Caribbean nut – the sea tells a story, writes it on the sand all over the world in a strange and wonderful language. I think I’ll spend my life walking the tideline every chance I get trying to decipher some small part of it.
Posted by Evolution of X on December 4, 2012
Posted by Evolution of X on December 2, 2012