Remember Kip on Napoleon Dynamite? Well, Kip and I are not in agreement on a major issue. At his wedding, he sang that oh-so-melodious rendition of his own lyrics to LaFawnda:
“I love technology. But not as much as I love you. But I still love technology.”
Well, Kipper, today I’m about ready to drop kick your second greatest love.
If you’re reading this today and have seen my website in the past, perhaps you notice it’s all fancier here. There’s a new WordPress theme in patriotic colors (I do love patriotic themes.) There are fancy Dickens quotes in the sidebar. There’s a way to subscribe by email. There are some new tabs across the top: Bio, Editing Services, even (just for you!) a photo gallery. Woot! There’s now a way to purchase a signed copy of two of my books.
Worst of all, there are PHOTOS IN THE SIDEBAR. Yes, all caps are the typing symbol of shouting. And these caps symbolize angry shouting. Can you imagine spending an entire afternoon trying to put a photo in a sidebar? It sounds like something my maternal grandmother would look at me and swear about. (You who know Grandma Irene will agree.) Why should this take an entire afternoon? I ask you! Am I the only person who senses that in reality, this is a colossal waste of time, and that perhaps every moment I’m spending working on a website is actually time that is being deleted from the back end of my life, shortening my lifespan?
Nevertheless, the blog/website is now alllllllll fresh and fancy. It is, I’m sure, wasted on those of you who simply subscribe by email and just get this as a stream of text. Still, I thank you for subscribing. You’re super nice, especially if you’re still reading by this point in my rant of annoyance at technology, which I’m sure would make Kip want to buy a time machine online just to get away from me.
And now, have I ever told you that I grew up in the same town with Napoleon Dynamite? Well, if he weren’t a work of fiction, that is. My mother taught for 23 years at Preston High School. The stage where Napoleon does his excellent dance and brings Pedro to victory at the end is where in the spring of 1988 (just 25 years ago!) I was given the medal as Franklin County’s Junior Miss. It’s where my sisters starred in many plays. The house where Summer Wheatley lived is one (I’m embarrassed to admit) I drove past at least a dozen times in hopes of catching a glimpse of Troy, the cute older boy who lived there in the 1980s. My cousin’s son made the boondoggles that Napoleon tries to sell to whatshername-who-could-be-drinking-whole-milk. I’ve bought sparkly silver shoes at that D.I. where he bought his awesome brown suit.
Possibly most important of all, I feel a connection to this movie because the writer/director/producer Jared Hess ran for student body president against my little sister. I ask you: does this make my sweet Adrienne… Summer Wheatley? Could anyone who knows her really think that? I don’t know!
Last summer at my first booksigning for BIG IN JAPAN, the person who shared my desk at the sidewalk sale in front of the Preston Citizen was Dale Critchlow, the farmer who shoots the cow. We had a nice, good long chat, he and I, about his children and grandchildren. I remembered my mom taught his daughter back in the first year she was teaching at PHS. He let me take a photo with him.
People have asked me a lot of times: Is Preston really like that?
Well, kinda. Yeah. I mean, I watched that movie and I felt like I was home. Not everyone is like Napoleon and his family, but I might be.
Except that I still hate technology.