Today is the birthday of MY GIRL, MY MAIN DAMMIE, MY WIFE (yes I said my wife). If you know me and know me well you know I am talking about Toni Morrison. That is right!! The author of The Bluest Eye, Beloved, Sula, Jazz, Love….need I go on. My love affair with TM began freshman year of college in Dr. Scott Derrick’s American Literature class. I was a young, unworldly, country girl from Baytown still wet behind the ears but also eager to soak up LIFE and EDUCATION ( later I found the soaking up liquor and boys part of life to be way more fun than education part). I was familiar with the classics of literature but nothing outside the mainstream cannon. Later I would grow to love the things not in the mainstream (by mainstream I mean what they teach you in red neck school districts) cannon particularly those things written by minorities and women ( that sounds more like a buschick blog). Anyway, Dr. Derrick gave us a syllabus and on that syllabus was well the only thing I really remember on that syllabus was The Bluest Eye and later Beloved. Now, being green when I went to the bookstore to purchase my books for class this book excited me for a whole another reason, it was short. Like Of Mice and Men short. I think seventy something pages or so. I had no idea how Pecola and Cholly Breedlove would change my life and open my mind to the possibilities. She captured so many themes relevant to my life and some not so relevant to me. As we see the struggles through Frieda and Claudia who deal with what every little black girl does self identity in a culture that tries to negate everything you are. As I read the horror of Pecola’s life (which unfortunately lots of little girls deal with- as Sofia said in the Color Purple " A girl child ain’t safe in a house full of mens"). When I finished that book Toni Morrison had really affected my soul and awakened my intellect. We won’t even get into how I was too young to appreciate the craftsmanship of her words, the rhythm, the sentence a construction, the attention to detail the imagery. That was all wasted on me when I first read Toni, now it is what I look forward to. My second encounter and when I betroth myself to Ms. Morrison was Beloved. Now, Beloved is arguably one of the hardest Morrison books to read. Most people don’t get it and have to read it several times. Now me, I’ve read it tons of times and there are still parts I don’t get. Was she a ghost? Is she real? Is she the child? All those things. I have often wondered why Oprah made it into a movie, the movie did the book no justice. Now for me the thing I liked so much about Beloved is TM even tells you how to pronounce her name. In the book she says it is three syllables so it is not Be-loved its Be-lov-ed. That piece of literary knowledge is free, wow your friends with it a cocktail parties. LOL! My favorite TM book is (drum roll please) hmmm I think it is between Tar Baby and Sula. Sula wins. Oh wait I like Song of Solomon too. No Sula wins. Anyway if you have some free time and you are looking for something great to read pick up any TM book. Jazz was a good one too. Happy birthday Ms. Morrison. I am so glad you continue to grace us with your treasures.
On a lighter note.. today is also Molly Ringwald’s birthday. What 30 something didn’t grow up with Molly as John Hughes favorite leading lady. Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club (not Directed by John Hughes), and that movie with John Cryer and the "If I Leave you" song. These movies are all classics from my very naive, green, redneck, existence in Baytown. LOL!! I loved the Brat Pack…most of them have become pretty well adjusted and somewhat accomplished older actors, even Robert Downey Jr. (between binges) is a great actor.
Now on to a COMPLETELY SUPERFICIAL note. Today I got a compliment from Mo (SWAT PT instructor), who told me I looked smaller than when he saw me (wed. LOL). That wasn’t the compliment. He asked me what I was doing and I was like this class, Rep Reebok, super long cardio on the weekends ( I generally do a 3 mile run or an 1.5 elliptical machine), Pilates or Yoga. When rattling off this list I realized I work out ALOT. Anyhoo, he then asked me how my time on my 3 miles were coming. I have shaved more time I think I am down to 40 min 29 sec. He then told me "Your looking good girl!!" There it is. THE COMPLIMENT!! So when I got home I checked my butt out in the mirror and concurred. I am looking good.
I must say that the guys (Mo, Larry, and George) are very good at keeping me motivated. They always let me know that they notice my strength increase, they suggest when I should up my workout and add strength training, they push me when I’m slacking, in general they are great at keeping me on my journey to fitness ( and fineness too). HOWEVER, the compliments are icing on the cake and will keep me coming to SWAT on the reg for real. Now, not too many or I may start showing up a little more glamorous than my head rag and big tees!! LOL!
Here are pictures of a Saturday morning SWAT PT class Mo gave. He occasionally does a supplemental class. He likes to call them fitness picnics I call them HELL. I think that this trail was close to 4 miles long. Man!! I can’t believe I did it. I guess that’s why I’m getting the compliments these days.