Random thoughts on most things from A. M. Craig.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Somebody She's Glad to Know

Following is an essay written by my tremendously bright and talented 13 year old niece. The prompt was to write about somebody you are glad to know.
One of the most successful YouTube commercial campaigns is for a tongue cleaner called the OraBrush. Surprising that a tongue cleaner would cause so much buzz, but this is largely due to the hysterical and halitophobic “OraBrush Guy” (I’m not so much afraid of me having bad breath. I’m afraid of other people having bad breath.) … This brash scientist is other wise known as, my quirky, adventurous, tech-nerd Uncle Austin. The semi-famous Austin Craig graduated from BYU with a degree in broadcast journalism. His talent for imitating others and sarcastic humor keeps all those around him in good spirits. He is loud, funny, smart and interested in absolutely everything. What Austin, a fellow “twinner”, loves more than anything else is a good conversation. The economy, music, food, Facebook, politics, school, electronics--he’ll talk about them all. And he won’t just talk. Austin will debate. The man has an opinion and he loves to be heard. Life is full of opportunities, and my uncle loves to grab them. Austin dabbles in gymnastics, photography, critiquing, running, and more. Spontaneous adventures are always on his agenda along with seminars, friends and traveling. It’s a wonder he’s still single! I’m so glad he’s such a great uncle and friend. As he once said, “Friends are like potatoes. If you eat them, they die … brought to you by Austin’s Words of Wisdom, Words of Wisdom by Austin.”
Clever girl, that's what I say.

Monday, August 15, 2011

David Foster Wallace at Kenyon College, May 21, 2005

I'm ripping this off, entirely, from another blog. I just feel like it should be shared.

A friend sent this to me a few years ago, and I filed it away in a "Read Later" folder.

On Saturday, when the kind Sprint rep told me it would take 45 minutes to transfer my contacts from my old phone to the new, I found myself with no available smartphone, a laptop with no wifi, and nothing else to occupy my time. It took literally years to finally get my attention, but I opened up the "Read Later" folder. The first thing in the folder that caught my eye was David Foster Wallace's commencement address from Kenyon, to the graduating class of 2005.

Before you click away and read the whole text, let me familiarize you a bit with the author. From Wikipedia:
David Foster Wallace (February 21, 1962 – September 12, 2008) was an American author of novels, essays, and short stories, and a professor at Pomona College in Claremont, CaliforniaHe was widely known for his 1996 novel Infinite Jest,[4][5] which Time included in its All-Time 100 Greatest Novels list (covering the period 1923–2006).[6]  
Los Angeles Times book editor David Ulin called Wallace "one of the most influential and innovative writers of the last 20 years".[4]
Wallace killed himself by hanging in 2008. He'd suffered from depression through his whole adult life, and when there was a complication with his medication, he succumbed. It's sad, but reading through this speech, I think I understand a little where he was coming from. I found this address comforting and consonant with my own life experience. I'll probably be reading more of his work.

Now go ahead and read it. Click here.