31 May 2011

"Between the Crosses, Row on Row"

I guess I should have talked about Memorial Day yesterday. My bad.


(thank you, Wikipedia)

The symbol of Memorial Day, as well as the Canadian 'Remembrance Day' (and our Veteran's Day) is the red poppy. Has been since Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a doctor in the Canadian military, penned his poem 'In Flanders Fields' in 1915.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

This has been one of my all-time favorite poems for several years. Incidentally, John McCrae also has a whole bevy of other poems no one ever talks about. And several of the are very good. Just sayin'.

Somehow the Schaffer family, along with most of the American people, didn't really think about all this yesterday. Instead, Memorial Day meant a three-day weekend. Which was fun.

We had a barbecue on Saturday with a set of grandparents, so yesterday was just us. It was rainy. Very rainy. We had breakfast at noon. We sat there waiting for the city to completely submerge. The kids took advantage of the one sunny hour in the afternoon to go to the park; don't ask me why, because the place must have been pretty soggy. I have the bruises to prove that I completely pwned Princess and Short Stuff at bloody knuckles. It was a pretty good day, all in all.

Love always,
Ashley
P.S. --Today is Tuesday. Tuesday is my favorite day of the week.

30 May 2011

Calling All Girls [And All Y'all Other'ns]...

Today I am going to talk about a very disturbing trend I've been noticing lately. Very disturbing. What I'm talking about are these sheer lace shirts that are all the thing. Like so:


and so:


I've seen these things everywhere. Church. School. Around town. Everywhere. On everybody from teenagers to women my grandmother's age.

And I hate to break it to you, ladies, but these are not valid clothing. The idea of a shirt, as I see it, is to cover the skin. Right? Right. So, unless you've joined a nudist colony (and I might continue with that topic at a later date), I'd presume that to wear something that doesn't actually cover the skin is pointless.

And these so-called 'shirts' don't cover anything. There may be fabric touching you, dear, but I can see your shoulders. And straps. And, depending on what you're wearing under that thing, I can see a whole heck of a lot more than that. The word sheer means TRANSPARENT. As in SEE-THROUGH. As in NOT REALLY A LEGITIMATE SHIRT. Hello.

As far as I'm concerned, there are only three places sheer really belongs.
1) Veils (weddings, funerals, and the hat scene in 'My Fair Lady' come to mind)
2) The dress-up box
3) Lingerie
Anywhere else is just misplaced.

Now, over the top of something that covers both skin and underclothing, I have no problem with these non-shirts. I wouldn't wear one, because I think they look funny, but I don't have a problem with them. It's when they're worn as an excuse for real clothing that my concerns become raised.

As far as modesty goes, I think they're worse than not wearing anything over bare skin and straps and such, because it calls attention to the fact that you can see everything. Seeing a woman in a sleeveless shirt is one thing. Happens every day. Everybody's got shoulders. Whatever. But with these lace things, one has to do a double-take. Kind of a that-cannot-be-what-I-think-it-is. And so you end up staring at people. Which is awkward, to say the least.

Love always,
Ashley

P.S. --We're watching Harvey tonight. With James Stewart. We love(!) this movie. It's splendid.

24 May 2011

Don't Stop Me Now...

I have an announcement to make.

You ready?

Alright.

As of today, this blog is transitioning from a pointless side venture to an exploration. An exploration of existence as I see it now, and an exploration of the way my view changes as I learn more.

The original thought process behind Such a Time as This was just such a journey. It's taken me six months to get to a point where I was ready to begin, but I'm here now.

Because of this change, several other changes are commencing as well. Such a Time as This will no longer automatically post to Google Buzz. You want to read it, that's your prerogative. 'Follow', add the link to your favorites, jot it down on a post-it note, that kind of thing.  I'm not going to spam anybody with this exploration of mine.

Also, I've added a disclaimer to the blog. Please read it. Right now, before you go any further in even this paragraph. Keep in mind that I'm known for being a little unorthodox (religiously, politically, socially, morally, whatever), and that that is not going to change in the future. I'm gonna say what I'm gonna say, and if I think it needs to be said then conventions be damned. (See? I hope you read the disclaimer.)

I challenge you though, if you're interested in attacking your own views of the world headfirst, to join me in this exploration. Don't be afraid to get it wrong. Anything worth doing is worth doing wrong, just in case you happen to get it right on the way somewhere. Anything worth believing will be left standing once you tear your philosophy apart and reconstruct it. Right?

I'm a no-holds-barred kind of girl. That means that any topic is up for grabs. The serious, the flighty, the deadly, the pointless. And I very well might twist a subject into some kind of backward allegory. I'm going to write about movies and plays and books and pop culture and the 60s. I'm going to write about religion, and I'm not going to mince words. I'm going to write about politics, and I'm going to get a bit obtuse. I'm going to write about music, and I'm going to get carried away. I'm going to write about feminism, and I'm going get passionate. I might go through long periods of silence while my thoughts get sorted out enough to write about. I'm going to be funny, and I'm going to be sad, and I'm going to be infuriating, and I'm going to bring both joy and tears in their turn.

But I'm going to journey. Journey with me?

Love always,
Ashley

P.S.--Feel free to contact me with any topic you want discussed. I might just take a liking to it. :)