Wandering, Aimless Musings

The thing about a blog is that it inspires more blogs. It literally multiplies, like it’s a gremlin or something.

By the way, I wasn’t sure if “gremlin” was a proper noun, so I totally (as opposed to partially?) Googled it — since Google is, after all, the digital Gospel. I came across two brief definitions that made me giggle. Or maybe that was the wine’s fault. Anywho:

1) “Gremlins is a 1984 American horror comedy film directed by Joe Dante, released by Warner Bros.”

2) “The AMC Gremlin is a two-door subcompact car produced in the United States and Canada by the American Motors Corporation (AMC) between 1970 and 1978.”

Wow! The second definition sure brings back memories. You don’t see many anymore, but I was born in ’76 and there were quite a few that I saw back in the day, thus plaguing my memories of the early 80s. Thank God leg warmers and stirrup pants took the place of the Gremlin (never thought I’d say that).

(By the way. You want the definition of good comedy? Go to Wikipedia and look up “AMC Gremlin,” then behold the main photo they use near the top of the page. What’s with the woman and her come-hither stare as she’s lurking near the rear of the car — and in a red suit, no less? Awesome.)

At the end of the day, I decided “gremlin” wasn’t a proper noun when I personally use it. Just thought I’d close the loop on that.

I didn’t really have a topic to write about as I sat down at the keyboard tonight (as though that wasn’t already obvious), but there’s one I’ve been trying to wrap my head around for a month or two. It’s regarding the images of American cities that I saw time and time again in many 1980s textbooks — before the time, apparently, when smog checks were mandatory for cars of a certain age, and back when boxy Fords, Buicks and Chryslers dotted the highways.

They keep popping into my head.

Does anyone remember these images, which were likely ones that accompanied chapters about our country’s growth and/or sections that had to do with mass transportation? They were a hazy brownish-orange in hue, and I remember them striking a chord in me that made me think, “I get to grow up and drive an ugly car in a polluted environment? Gee, can’t wait till I turn 16.”

Pictures of families in textbooks were equally amusing. I can’t remember what chapters they would have been paired with, or the subject matter of book they might’ve appeared in, but they always showed a well-coiffed woman dressed impeccably while serving a bland meal of beige chicken next to beige rice next to beige potatoes (oh, the horror of two starches). And boy, was she making it happen! She remained dressed in her pumps after a long day of officing, her collared dress cinched at the waist by a belt, and she was serving her family at the dinner table — husband still in his suit (at least take off your jacket for the meal, buddy) and junior perfectly groomed after a long day of classes, PE and cafeteria shenanigans in his buttoned-all-the-way-up polo shirt and Aqua-Netted hair.

(Who managed the layouts of these books? Because their imagery has marred me for life.)

I don’t really have much to say about these early 80s textbooks, except that — again — they’ve been on my mind a lot these days. Maybe the weather has taken on a similar, murky appearance to those photos I saw back in the day. I now involve the 22 freeway in my daily commute to and from work, and I’ve never driven it so much in my life until now. It’s always been mere miles from where I grew up, but I never really had a need for it.

Something about those textbook photos always made me think of the 22 freeway that I was never really on, save for once in a blue moon. Perhaps that’s why I’m thinking about those textbook pictures more and more these days. Clearly they’re directly related to the amount of driving I’m doing on certain freeways.

Odd.

Regardless of the reason for a trip down memory lane, all my mental journeying as of late has spurred thoughts about other blogs I’d like to start. I have the spaces “held” here on Posterous already — their secretive titles are secured by yours truly. I’m just trying to figure out a time to begin them, and how structured I want them to be. Everything needs a focus, and that they have. But do I want to blog daily, like I do here? Or only when something really worthy of the subject matter presents itself?

I’m going to sleep on these two other blogs for a while, which is kinda always the good thing about life. Not sure what to do? Sleep on it. Don’t have an answer for something? Wander for a while — something might come to you. Can’t pinpoint how you want to handle a situation? I like to imagine myself wandering aimlessly, and it usually always leads me to a gut feeling I have — but don’t always realize is in me — about something.

What’s interesting about “wandering, aimless musings” is that sometimes having no direction can help you find one. And as I think back on everything from certain instances in my live to this particular blog post, being aimless has always helped me focus on something and end up in a good place. Tonight I am thankful for the freedom to simply wander.

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