Bachelor Lamps, Star Wars, and Night Lights

REALLY stretching on this one, Random Word Generator. Couldn’t be something cool like Spy? Or Rapids? Or Credenza? Because lamp is… wow. This little tool is supposed to make writing easier, isn’t it?

Okay. Lamp. *Cracks Knuckles*

Lamp from Childhood: I used to have a dusty pink colored clip on lamp on my headboard when I was a kid. I used to wake up early, move it so it was inches away from my face and turn it on. Presto: instant “fever” for faking sick and then turn it off right before my Mom came to wake me up. (Also useful to hold a thermometer against to continue to fake said fever. Care must be taken to not have a 140 degree fever or burn your tongue. Is an art.) As a mother I will be checking the lightbulbs of my daughter’s lamps on days they swear they don’t feel good and need to stay home sick.

Head Lamps: we periodically walk the six blocks or so to the restaurant on the edge of our neighborhood for dinner and bring headlamps with us for the walk back in the dark. The older children LOVE it. Out at night? Walking? Headlamps? Joy of Joys! I also give one to the toddler and she just turns it on and off for the entire walk back. Considering she insists (even in the dark) of having the stroller canopy up, it’s like pushing a giant firefly through the neighborhood.

Bachelor Lamp: My husband had a brass lamp with a black pleated lampshade next to the bed when we first got together. We don’t have it anymore. Not much to that, I guess, but I just never could understand the concept of a black lampshade…

Grandma Lamp: After my grandfather died my grandmother was on a mission: get rid of all these dratted earthly possessions. (I think she was signaling to the higher ups just how serious her readiness to get a move on was) She asked her grandkids what we wanted of hers: Rugs? China? Clocks? I said if anyone hadn’t claimed it yet I’d love the lamp in the spare bedroom where we’d all slept for sleepovers. Huge, overly ornate thing. Gilding, sage green, marble and brass base. Massive 3′ shade with gold embroidered flowers and many a grubby paw print acquired over the years. (one of them mine, as I distinctly recall). She said her father had picked it up for her at an outside secondhand store- it had been broken and her father had fixed it for her. (I’d never noticed the crack, in all those years of looking at it) It’s in our storage room now, because I can’t find a spot in our house I deem safe enough for it.

Night Lights: in our house currently we have a ceramic one shaped like a bird that glows at night (ala dead Jedi masters), a pink gummy bear battery powered one, and one that shines green stars on the ceilings. Are like lamps, right?


The rage I feel from the goddamn replacement of Sebastian Shaw with Hayden Christensen in this scene is pretty much unparalleled to anything else I’ve felt in this life up to this point. Anyway. This is what the bird nightlight looks like.

Bedside Lamps: Matching green glass, quasi bottle looking ones next to our bed. I got both on clearance at different Ross stores and was super proud of myself. They’re too big, and glass lamps at toddler level is probably not the best idea, and they match nothing in the room. I’m pretty sure that checks off all the proper points for having lamps, right? And they’re a constant reminder to read something at night not from a glowing screen but from something that actually requires turning on of said bedside lamp.




Character Stasis and why Han Solo Was My Seed Jar

I’m late to the Star Wars the Force Awakens party. Considering I had my youngest 3 days after it’s release I think you’ll see why I hadn’t watched it before this point even though I love me some Star Wars. So we finally watched it on Saturday. I thought it was good- I liked the concept and visuals of all the war detritus a lot. What wasn’t okay? The death of my favorite character in a series I dearly loved and with whom I idolized as a kid. Teenager. And adult. Does Han Solo explain my undying love of vests? I’m almost positive. I never wanted to see that character change from the one I remembered and identified with.

There is comfort in a character’s stasis. According to Genetics, Paleontology, and Macroevolution by Jeffrey S. Levinson “Character stasis is simply where for a given morphological character, no temporal change occurs.” To extrapolate that out to fictional characters means to me that they should exist forever going out on top. And I know I’m not alone in getting comfort from that unchanging state of our beloved characters in their moments of glory. Or getting thrown off when it doesn’t happen like that.

When a character has an end… when the bracket is closed or the sentence is punctuated with something other than a dot, dot, dot it makes it hard to enjoy the good times when you know that bitter end is coming. Aramis leaves the other Musketeers to become a priest. Damn- that kinda changes everything when you read the book again from the beginning, you know? Robin Hood dies by being bled to death by an evil monk. Did not need to know that.  I actually don’t want to see Harry Potter as a middle aged dad on the platform sending his sons off to Hogwarts. Or know that Captain America gets shot and killed by his girlfriend. (Seriously- someone get Stan Lee on the phone. He has some ‘splaining to do!) And I sure as hell didn’t want to ever see the death of Han Solo. That just is NOT okay.

How do I explain this… some characters…they’re like the seed jar. And yes, that is a weird reference, but it stems from a Radiolab episode that I highly recommend… and will explain my thinking on the concept of character stasis. Maybe. It was a correlation I thought of immediately after we watched the movie. Below is the link to the podcast episode:

The Seed Jar by Radiolab

There is comfort is something, even just our perception of a character, unchanging- weathering all the storms and centuries and slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that I enjoy. The fact that life isn’t always pretty and that bad things can happen to even the best or most heroic people? I promise that isn’t lost on me, writers. In fact- it’s nice to escape that reality sometimes and say, watch a movie. OH WAIT.



There is a kids’ story or two in here somewhere…

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away… I remember helping my cousin Jennifer collect bugs  once for a school project. And now that I think of it- she was homeschooled so how the hell did that work? Anyway. I caught a huge red wasp in a tupperware container- and it beat against the lid like a drum. And there were a few beetles, maybe a June bug? All I remember is the wasp really (for obvious, scare the hell out of you reasons) and that I was SO good at catching bugs she put me in charge of the jar. (Gee… thanks? Is white-washing the fence fun too?) But anytime she would point out a butterfly I’d only pretend to try to catch it and shoo it away instead. At the end of the day we had enough bugs for her collection and not a single one was a butterfly. I was 10.

And today not only do I grow plants in my garden to attract and feed the adult butterflies I love so well, I grow host plants for their caterpillars to eat too. And while some of the caterpillars are cool, some really display the depth of my devotion because they… well they’re not cute. I have a key lime tree which is the host to my favorite butterfly, the Giant Swallowtail. Who’s caterpillar is basically bird poop. Think I’m kidding?


Boom. Evolution is wonderfully specific at times.

And then that thing turns into this…


My Precious!

And I really don’t know why the story was about an ugly duckling turning into a swan… because bird poop turning into a butterfly wins that competition ALL day long.