Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What Caught My Eye, Some Updates, What's Coming Next...

1. My mother was pregnant with -- her fourth child -- at the height of zero populations growth. Three kids in tow and pregnant, she was openly glared at on the streets of our small college town. With four kids of my own, I've built a small armory of comebacks for people who want to tango with me about having too many kids. (Bring it. Seriously, just please try to bring it.) But this week, I read this piece by Jeff Wise about the problem of humanity's possible declining population...  At the end, Wise cracks wise -- you get to see a glimpse of how funny he is ... A good read.

2. Yes, my 16 year old doesn't currently have a smart phone; at present, his below-average-intelligence phone is broken and we haven't figured out the new carrier plan... And no, he didn't get any uber smart technology for Christmas. Instead, this week, he and his Dad went to see Pacino on Broadway in the classic Mamet play Glengarry Glenn Ross. And now he'll understand what I mean when I tell him to go to lunch and call him George. Too, he'll never forget that performance. Never.

I met Pacino one summer when I was around 19 or so, shook his hand ... That's for another post.

My parents took me to plays as a kid -- good and bad in New York, good and bad in podunk towns everywhere we traveled. Those plays got inside my ear -- dialogue, delivered live, the real bodies on stage -- nothing like it, especially for a kid whose brain is beginning to wire up like a writer's brain. 

Everybody, go see a play. Go to the theater. Go feel it.

3. We are, once again, committed to as many family dinners as possible per week. We try to get everyone around the dining room table because that's where I learned so many things as a kid -- like the art of argument from my father, who argues for sport and art -- and, as we told the kids, children from families who have a family dinner are less likely to do drugs.

And so the conversation at dinner last night went like this:

16 year old gives a sarcastic FYI update: You know my cocaine use has really dropped dramantically since we started having family dinners together.

17 year old says: But I think that's just because dinner comes right at the height of cocaine usage time.   

Real entertaining, kids. Ha, ha, et cetera  

4. I love that the IRS is coming down on colleges to find a way to truly and honestly measure an adjunct's time and not just pay them per classroom hour. I don't know what will happen here, but I hope it applies pressure to the unfair, exploitative use of adjuncts and shakes things up.  

5. The Onion gets REAL in its Golden Globes mockery. This is some serious satire. It put me in check.

So, what's coming up on this blog? I have a number of fantastic poets lined up for Q and A's, plus an editor of a new imprint. And I've written on and on about my mother Glenda Baggott, hyper-phobic matriarch, but not as much about Bill Baggott -- man among men! I'll be posting snippets about him -- I've got a long list of 'em -- this spring. He's got a cold now so this is a shout to him -- more to come! Be warned, kind sir!