Category Archives: quotes

Annotated Adolescence

Yesterday, I unwillingly played “let’s pretend we live in the the colonial ages” after my apartment lost internet for a few hours. We still had electricity, of course, but what good is that if I can’t stream episodes of Real World: Portland or stalk myself on facebook. We may as well have been in a three-day black-out.

To occupy myself, I browsed through some of my old school books for no reason at all, really, other than to see my illegible chickenscratch lacerate the great literature of high-school syllabi past. But really. I over-annotated the similes out of these books. I starred every page, underlined practically every sentence–as if wouldn’t fully understand a word until I slipped my pen past it–and added a few too many heart-punctuated exclamation points than I would care to admit. I really loved John Proctor. It was weird.

While I still find some of my thoughts insightful, or at least legitimate, I stumbled across a few marginal notes that just…nope. There is no way that passage means anything, or deserves any further attention.  Below are some examples of quotes you probably won’t find in Cliffnotes or WikiQuote, but teenage Kerri thought were just grand.

Catcher in the Rye

“I brush my teeth. Don’t give me that!”

You might think this quote could have importance within the context, but…nope. Nothing. Didn’t stop me from circling it though

I ordered a scotch and soda, which is my favorite drink, next to frozen Daiquiris.

I guess I was worried that Holden’s second-favorite drink would be on the quiz…

She had really big knockers.

To which I wrote beside it, “nice!”

A Streetcar Named Desire

You can almost feel the warm breath of the brown river warehouses with their faint redolences of bananas and coffee.

I circled “bananas and coffee” and wrote “exotic!” next to it. I guess basic breakfast foods are exotic to 14-year olds.

“Gracious, what lung-power!”

…I mean…okay?

“Well, honey, a shot never does the coke any harm!”

This quote actually did prove useful later in life.

The Odyssey 

“True, my friend,” the glistening one agreed.

I think I just liked the idea of a Greek man glistening. I was a pervert in eight grade. For example, I also underlined this…

Once they’d bathed and smoothed their skin with out with oil, they took their picnic, sitting along the river’s bank and waiting for all the clothes to dry in the hot noon sun.

And this…

Muttering so, great Odysseus crept out of the bushes, stripping off with his massive hand a leaf branch from the tangled olive growth to shield his body, hide his private parts. And out he stalked, as a mountain lion exultant in his power.

It should also be noted that I skipped books 9-15 in the Odyssey. Sorry Ms. Creany. There probably weren’t enough oil-slabbed gods in those parts.

And finally, perhaps the most poignant passage of them all from my favorite play, The History Boys:

You are very young. Grow a mustache.

On “Of Twists and Turns”

 “Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns, driven time and again off course…”

The Odyssey, 1.1

Oh, Odie. What a dirty rotten scoundrel. The Man of Twists and Turns.

One thing* the ancient greeks got right is the power of an epithet. How convenient it is to have the essence of your personality presented at the very start, a handy-dandy cliffnotes of character that leaves all your cards on the table. “Hello, I’m Kerri, the woman of neurosis and extreme hair shedding”–tell me that wouldn’t be helpful to know on a first date.

I’ve adopted Odysseus’ own epithet–of twists and turns–to navigate this blog for a few reasons. First, yes, it allows me to be discursive–the prose of twists and turns–but it also references what I consider to be the characteristic that sired the very first antihero of literature: Odie and all of his bullshit.

On the surface level, Odysseus’ twists and turns describe the taxing homecoming he makes after the war, the sinuous path punctuated with a few social calls to sirens, cyclops, and like, I think there was a little stopover at the underworld too. However, Homer also uses this phrase to call attention to Odysseus’ unique heroic quality: his ability to lie like a rug. He would twist and turn the truth like his life depended on it. Although, to be fair, it kind of did.

Homer spun this pathology as the virtue of oration and the noble art of storytelling, but I know what Odysseus really is…a pretty, little liar. He’s the great, great,  great to the nth degree, grandfather of modern cads like Don Draper, Jeff Winger, and whoever Jim Carrey played in that movie Liar, Liar. While Achilles boasted strength and sculpted muscles or whatever (I didn’t really pay attention to The Iliad), Odysseus survived on charm and swarm.

Not to cast any doubt on the veracity of this blog; it’s not going to publish lies, because, like, what would be the point of that? That’s what newspapers are for (zing!). Instead, it is going to explore my favorite themes of post-modern storytelling, meta-narratives, and fiction as a vessel for truth. I’ll also probably tour the merits of The Real World (not to be confused with the less appealing real world), soap operas, camp, and I’ll sidestep into some linguistic studies of  terms like “duhsies”, and whether or not anyone has any control over irony anymore. In other words, this blog is an odyssey through pop-culture and cultural canons in order to understand the twists and turns of our generation.

…or it’s an arena for me to discuss the things I find too douchey** to say in person…like, you know y’all would slap me if I quoted The Odyssey on the reg. I’d slap me if I quoted The Odyssey on the reg.

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*There are actually a million things the greeks got right, from homoeroticism and the invention of bromance to the original ragers known as Bacchanalia. And noun declensions. God, I love me some noun declensions.

**I always use douchey as a synonym for elitist, highbrow, psuedointellectual etc., just so you can keep up with that. An alternative title for this blog was Ferme la Douche. But French is sort of douchey, too, so…ugh.