December 12, 2005

on the wish book and going back to school

Oooooooooooh! The New School Spring 2006 course catalog arrived in the mail today!!! I'm all giddy and hopeful and junk. I feel like I did when I was a kid and the Sears Wish Book arrived.

Ah, the Sears Wish Book. The minute that catalog entered the McDimple household, a massive tug-of-war broke out. I fought my sisters mightily so I could be the first to peruse the pages and dog-ear all those containing my desired toys.

FYI, it was a widely-held and undisputed belief in my house that the elves merely phoned in their toy orders to Sears and did not, in fact, build a goddamn thing. Being the sad gullible fucks that we were, the McDimple Girls also believed it to be a total coincidence that Santa wrapped our toys in the exact same wrapping paper my mother kept stashed in her bedroom.

Every year.

But whatever! I had no time to quibble over such details. That Christmas list was not going to write itself.

And thus began the painstaking process of toy selection. I knew I was limited to only a few things since Santa had to satisfy my three sisters as well. I did NOT want to be the kid who fucked with Santa's budget, you see. So I took my time when compiling my wishes. I thought it through. My list went through several drafts and revisions before the final top-edit by the parents.

It was during this final phase that the younger sister's drum set was nixed as was my request for an organ. Mind you, there is not now, nor has there ever been, a speck of musical talent between the two of us. Why we were lobbying long and hard (and unsuccessfully) for instruments is beyond me. Clearly I wasn't using my head that year and most likely ended up with second- or third-strong toys. What a dumb ass.

Now when handling the Wish Book, I would start at the back, which, as I recall contained all the boys stuff. However, starting from the front of the book meant trudging through housewares and tools and shit like that, so I'd flip the book over and then grab a chunk of pages to approximate where the girls section started. Naturally, after the initial guesstimate, a bookmark was inserted in each end of the girls section for easy future reference. The McDimple girls had it down to a carefully-orchestrated science.

I slowly flipped through each page, reading the descriptions and taking notes. If a McDimple sister leaned in and started crowding me, I'd administer a shove all while maintaining a fixed gaze on the goods. Such focus!

Each page held so much potential. I had butterflies in my stomach as I worked my way through. I was always upset when I neared the section containing the ventriloquist dummies because, well, those fuckers are creepy (especially that one in the top hat and tails who wears a monocle) and b) it meant the toy section was drawing to a close and was beginning to segue into... oh the horror... CLOTHING!

I have a tendency to make fun of Sears now but that store was the shit when I was little. They had quite the stellar collection of Barbie accessories. Mind you, they weren't Mattel brand but they were light years ahead of the latter's shoddy line of pink merch. I was the envy of the neighborhood girls with my vast Barbie assembly which included: Birthday Barbie, Western Barbie (with a button on her back that, when pressed, caused her blue-eyeshadowed eye to wink. Um, it's worth noting that I would most likely be scared of this doll today. Ah, regression!); Western Ken; Malibu Ken; a Jeep; a motor scooter (which I could rev up! Um, too bad Barbie always took a header off it about two inches into the ride. Tres unsafe!); a beach house; a supermarket (with working conveyor belt and cash register); a gym (with working treadmill); a hamburger stand (with working soda fountain); a backyard (with a pool, cabana, chaise lounge and patio set); and much more.

I curated a rather impressive collection, if I do say so myself. It was a well-known fact in the neighborhood that Barbies just weren't worth playing with if Curly McDimple wasn't around to share her stash.

It really blows that the Sears Wish Book is no longer. Sorry but the Target circular can suck it. Ditto for every other flyer Wal-Mart, K-mart and all those big box stores distribute. It's just not the same. Bring back the Wish Book!!

In happier news, the aforementioned New School course catalog is here!! I never thought I'd see the day when I'd be happy about the prospect of going to school but I am! I've been in a rut for the past few months and I need a change of scenery. Perhaps I'll learn some new shit and meet some cool people. And score! The beauty of continuing education is that I don't have to adhere to some stodgy curriculum. I can take whatever the hell I want!

Now, the practical side of me suggests taking a business writing or a web development course because it's good for my career and my company will pick up the tab. That's all fine and good but well, I don't wanna. I mean, do I really want to deal with cascading style sheets when I can be Discussing Dylan for 12 Wednesdays? Oh, fuck no! Do I want to concern myself with information architecture while there's a class going on down the hall called Premium Vodkas: Are They Alike? Again, fuck no! I'm taking the fun classes with the cool kids, yo.

First up: Women's Rights, Human Rights. What's so fun about that you ask? Helloooooooo, a classroom full of chicks who, after each session, will most likely be all pissed off at men! Do the math, people.

Now if you'll excuse, I'm off to dig out my Trapper Keeper...