I spy with my American Eye . . .

Five simple little words, and thus a new chapter begins.  My name is Shannon Daley, and I’ve been invited to share with RedCert readers my view of the world through my unique, slightly quirky but distinctly American eye (both of them actually, but now is not the time for nitpicking).

It’s a view that’s been shaped by a lot of odd twists and turns, starting with the geographical.  I was raised in the American south and now reside in Arizona — Southwest By South, if you will.  I haven’t lived in the South in over 20 years, but a southern American upbringing is like the southern American accent:  no matter how hard you try to shake it off, it clings to you with a grip that even the Jaws of Life can’t pry loose.  My family – an eclectic bunch of loud, boisterous Southern women à la “Steel Magnolias” — still lives there, making it impossible to avoid.  My flattened mid-western American accent becomes a thick drawl in a matter of seconds.  Luckily, my stray “y’all”s don’t make it in to my typing.

Unlike the typical Southerner or South-westerner, I am firmly and proudly liberal.  My politics veered hard left the night Bill Clinton invited me to sit on his lap (we’ll get into that later!), and I’ve found politics to be a very easy thing to lose myself in, as two minutes perusing my tweets will tell you.  Back in the early days of online chatting and bulletin boards, I often moderated the political chat areas and threads on the boards I frequented, and in descriptions of me, the word “opinionated” will usually make an appearance.  Here, however, I intend to keep my political passions on low simmer, though I can’t guarantee I won’t boil over from time to time.  Concentrating on my first true great love — pop culture and the arts — is much more fun. I’m a confirmed music and movie fanatic from early childhood, so I’ll be commenting on them quite often.

“As the film “High Fidelity” taught us: “Books, records, films — these things matter. Call me shallow but it’s the f***in’ truth.” I also believe that everything in life can be matched to a corresponding film quote or song lyric . . . or both at once!”

This is also the view of a slightly older (my mind is still coming to terms with the fact that, despite what it feels, 18 is a distant blip in the rearview mirror), somewhat jaded but still hopeful woman attempting to prove F. Scott Fitzgerald wrong by adding a second act to my American life, starting with going back to college, which is proving to be, on every level, one of the most fascinating experiences I’ve had in years.

Mainly, though, my hope is to do what most of us hope to do through communication:  to touch.  I want to entertain you, to make you laugh, make you think, make you feel.  To shrink the expanse, to exchange and share, and then expand it again, sending the little bits I’ve gathered back out into the world, for others to catch and translate and see themselves in.  Words are amazing things.  They’re merely combinations of symbols and sounds; the meaning lies completely within the receiver.  You can take the most minute trivial occurrence and simply through the weaving of words, concentric circles of thought and ideas growing ever larger, you can weave a tapestry that eventually can cover the mysteries of the entire universe.  A philosophical crazy quilt . . . or a Snuggie.  I need my hands free for texting.

So please, make yourself comfortable . . . this might take a while.

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