Most Important Job
Overflow
The stuff that spills out of my head. Half Journal, half Blog, half stream of consciousness, half meaningless blather, half....

My name is Cody Clark.
If you're interested, you can find out about me here and here. But this is the site where I am most at home. Please excuse the mess.

I love guests, like everybody else, so sign my Guestbook.

Oh and if you wish to shower me with gifts, here's my wish list.


Listening To
Wilco
United Future Organization
Thievery Corporation
Steve Reich
Fuschnickens
Mocean Worker
Bowling For Soup
Radiohead
Barenaked Ladies
Cornershop


Reading
The Constant Companion
   by Eknath Easwaran
SoulSalsa
   by Leonard Sweet
The Perennial Philosophy
   by Aldous Huxley
Peace Like A River
   by Leif Enger
Tomorrow Now
   by Bruce Sterling
An Intimate History of Humanity
   by Theodore Zeldin
Sandman
   by Neil Gaiman
White Noise
   by Don Delillo
Creating Positive Futures
   by James Ogilvy


Stuff To Do
Environmental Scanning
Work on Waitt Foundation Community Site content
Finally learn how to use Paint Shop Pro
Put poetry on website
Finish friend's tshirt
Paint more tshirts


People to See
me
Rebecca Blood
Fleming Funch
Chris Corrigan
Peter Russell
Phil Ringalda
pamie
Phil Gyford
Owen
Mark And(erson)
Bob McDaniel
Nick Bostrom
Eric
Mary T.
Margaret Berry
Eliot Wilder
Daniel Talsky
Fred from Floyd
Gwen Zepeda
Alison Hawke
Malcom Davidson
Veronica Nichols
Caterina Fake
Meg Pickard
Kurt Brobeck
Dave Trowbridge
meesh
Sarah Hepola
Matthew Sturges
Dooce


Places to Go
Building Tomorrow's Communities
Futurescan
Mondo News
Everything2
Arts & Letters Daily
SciTech Daily Review
Arts Journal
Slate
Salon
Business Daily Review
EurekAlert!
SmartMarriages
Metacritic
Red Rock Eater
Obscure Store
memepool
Techdirt
Robot Wisdom
kottke.org
Boing Boing
Daley News
Raising Hell
Internet Scout
The Marriage Movement
Shifted Librarian
Deviant Art
Beliefnet
Relapsed Catholic
Holy Weblog!
Sursum Corda
not martha



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Tuesday, May 27, 2003
Adequate Love

This weekend's homily at Mass focused on the qualities of Love re: the Great Commandment and how the English language is wholly inadequate to express the idea of Divine Love, a.k.a. the greek word Agape. Fr. Lee made a valiant attempt to explain it, but he was limited by language as well. I was confirmed in my doubt that words could ever do the subject justice.

Reading my email after almost a week offline doing family stuff, I was pleased to see an email from my Metanexus list by the director of none other than The Institute for Research on Unlimited Love. He was talking about the need for a new scientific discipline to study altruism and divine love and he brought up this dude's book which is like the groundbreaking left-brained attempt to analyze Love.

Pitirim Sorokin's 1954 book Ways of Power and Love is apparently a classic, but it's new to me. In it he expresses a conceptual rubric for Divine Love around which we can organize our thinking and studies of Love.

Sorokin says that unlmited, divine, unselfish love has these five qualities:

intensivity -- It is deep and passionate and not tepid.
extensivity -- It extends to every human being and not just to one's friends and loved ones.
duration -- It lasts forever and does not wane
purity -- It is free from egoistic calculations of personal benefit and manipulation
adequacy -- It is effective. Love that subjectively meets the other four but fails to do some objective good is not true Love.

The adequacy part really spoke to me. If there is an area I fail most in, it is in adequacy.

Adequacy in Love takes a certain amount of self-care, of building up one's abilities and gifts so they can be shared. You have to take care of your own basics to free yourself up to be present to others. I know a number of people whose lives are so "busy," who spend 99.8% of their time running around and taking care of details of their own personal world, that they don't have the time and energy to expand their vision and reach beyond themselves and the small groups with which they self-identify. Some people are always in a crisis, comsumed by this or that deadline or obligation, usually self-created or created from procrastination borne of inattention to the details of life, that they have no time for adequate love. Sometimes I am those people.

Adequacy in Love means that to be a good Lover, you have to have your shit togther, essentially. And it seems that I can go weeks with my shit not together, so I am worried about this or that uncared-for detail or looming deadline. For example, I am driving around in danger of getting a ticket for my expired registration sticker. The mental energy worrying about that could be better spent. Why don't I just take care of it, you ask? Good question.

It's a form of paralysis. Looking at an overwhelming backlog of such uncared-for details stops me like a deer in headlights, and I'd rather just watch TV or update my blog than dive in and get started. It just seems so daunting. But that daunting paralysis makes me an ineffective lover. I lack sufficient attention to my own self-care and therefore am not much good to anybody. At least not as good as I could be.

So, I've taken this round about way to tell you that I'm taking a Blog Sabbatical to see if I can get some of my shit together. My Birthday is July 6th. I'm giving myself "Shit Together" for my birthday. So I'll see you in a little over a month.

I'll miss updating. I really have enjoyed the habit of writing (almost) daily that my blog has givien me. And I'll miss you all. But I have to drop a couple of things for a while.

It's like that monkey trap with the nuts in a jar and the monkey will grab a fistful and then won't let go of any of his nuts when he finds he can't get his hand out of the jar. Well I'm the monkey. And I need to quit holding my nuts.


Wednesday, May 21, 2003
I want to play 1KBWC

Wanted: five or six creative people who live in the Greater Houston Area to play One Thousand Blank White Cards sometime in the next four to six weeks. Must be willing to have fun and not get irratated by games that have ill-defined rules. Intensely left-brained types need not apply.

Seriously. It's summer. I wanna play.


Out of the box

more lines
Prayer #7 (Ink, watercolor on paper)


More colored boxes and lines. Starting to get tedious. I want to breeak out of my box mode. Even when I painted T-shirts I kept my wildy abstract paintings confined within boxes. I was never comfortable with anything freer or less confined.

My wife joked once that my boxes said a lot about me. That I was very creative and wild -- but just within the confines of my little box.

Well, I'm working on some pieces for this local show that are not confined to a box. Well, except for one which *is* a box actually. But this one painting is big. Bigger than anything I've done so far. And it's making me nervous.



Monday, May 19, 2003
Nothing will make me happy.

Know what I want? Nothing(tm). I want Nothing(tm).

Nothing sounds pretty good!

Nothing(tm) refreshes and rejuvenates your spirit.
It improves your attitude and sharpens your vision.
Four out of five doctors recommend a daily dose of Nothing(tm) to relieve stress.

Nothing(tm) is all natural, with no additives or preservatives.
It is not irradiated and has no GM ingredients.
It has no cholesterol, it's low in carbohydrates, and does not promote tooth decay.

Nothing(tm) is legal in all fifty states.
It is fair trade, organic, and eco-friendly.
No animals were harmed in the making of Nothing(tm).

Best of all, Nothing(tm) is completely free.
For a limited time, Nothing(tm) can be sent to you
free of sales taxes and shipping costs.

So, ask your doctor if Nothing(tm) is right for you.
Side effects can include sleepiness, guilt, and nagging impatience,
but these effects lessen with practice.

In extremely rare cases, overuse of Nothing(tm) can lead to
unemployment, voluntary simplicity, accumulation of hemp products,
ashram residency, and possibly complete ego sublimation.

What was that 1-800 number again?



Hip-hop fuddy-duddy daddy

I am old and stodgy and getting stodgier by the hour. But I try to maintain at least a nodding acquaintance with what the kids are listening to these days because, as a parent of a pre-teen and a catechist to that age group, I feel it's kind of my job.

So I'm going to show you my ignorance here: What does the phrase "rollin' on dubs" mean? Something about drugs? Hell, I dunno.

And I get the feeling that "Pimpin'" has taken on a meaning other than a name for the practice of managing prostitutes. Am I correct in assuming that it refers to an ostentatious manner of conducting one's affairs, with particular focus on conspicuous consumption and surrounding one's self with scantily clothed young "beeeeyotches"?

And who's this "shorty" everyone is talking to? I assume "shorty" is some form of familiar address in hip-hop speak, but how is that related to calling someone "G" and "Dogg?" And is there any difference between one's "peeps" and "homies?"

I admit to liking "rap music." I really want to listen to it. Really.

(Why do we call it rap music, BTW? Rap is a musical technique. We don't call other music "singing music" or "instrument music." Why marginalize this musical technique to its own subgenre? I think "Hip-Hop" is the better name for the genre. But what do I know?)

But I just can't bear it for very long. Every time I turn my radio on to the Hip-hop stations in Houston, I get turned off.

It's like, well, ... Imagine you meet a person. He's attractive and charming and obviously very talented. He seems to be a cool guy to hang with. Someone out of the ordinary. But after a few beers, you notice that all he talks about is himself, how rich he is, how tough he is, how many women he's been with. He keeps wanting you to look at his Rolex and ride in his Escalade. He wants you to know he has a gun and has used it. He tells you all about his friends who "stay down" and gang up on anyone who might cross him. And he has a certain pride in this self-centered, thuggish existence. He thinks the fact that his lifestyle most certainly may get him killed before he reaches the age of thirty makes him some sort of a tragic heroic figure... Who wants to hang with a person like that?

It's not the beat, it's the humanity. I like the music just fine, but I hate the macho mythos that surrounds it. Yeah, it may reflect urban "reality." But it's a "reality" to be changed, not embraced.

I heard these hip-hop lyrics this weekend that sort of sums up why I feel I must listen occasionally but can't listen for very long. The guy was rapping that he wanted to

"get my drink on.
get my smoke on.
Go home with something to poke on."

I don't want to have anything to do with someone who refers to beautiful young women, one of whom could be my daughter some day, as "something to poke on." And I don't want my daughter to have anything to do with them either.


Friday, May 16, 2003
Expressionism

Yes, another art rectangle...

Prayer #2
Prayer #2 (Ink, graphite, and watercolor on paper)

I don't know why I ended up liking this one. It kind of reminded me of Brice Marden meets Agnes Martin in the background.

Ha. As if I can compare myself to either of them. But that does bring up a question. Why does my abstract expressionism not look as good to me as that of established abstract expressionists? I've dribbled paint before but have produced nothign like a Pollock. My stark streaks of paint look nothing like Robert Mottherwell's or Franz Klein's. My scribble works don't seem to measure up to those of Cy Twombly.

Maybe it's a matter of confidence. And size. These Abstract Expressionists drip, streak, scribble just like I do but they do it boldly on huge canvases and march their paintings into elite galleries where they hang huge pricetags on them. Maybe they all know the emperor has no clothes, but they don't care because they look damn fine in a birthday suit *or* an Armani suit and if you laugh and point to hell with you you don't know art anyway.

Maybe their early art education gives them the technical background where they can say, "Oh I did representational work years ago. Anyone can paint a picture *of* something. That's so passe. I want to see what I can create if I throw my paint with my bare hands." Maybe their dues-paid art school cred gives them license to break out and follow nobody's rules anymore.

Me, I have no cred. No technique. I just paint, draw, scribble what I want. Express myself.

Maybe *this* is what makes theirs better than mine: They paint, draw, scribble what they want to just like me, *but* they don't stop afterwards and compare their work to others' and feel inferior. Abstract expressionism is indeed expression and if that expression is honestly stated from inside yourself and not an imitation of someone else's statement or style, it's good. Maybe I should stop "Being Agnes" and find my own voice.

And start using really huge canvases.


Thursday, May 15, 2003
The Matrix Reloaded

My first impressions:

How do they keep their sunglasses on while they fight?
Future Church meetings look to be one *heck* of a lot more fun.
The future Human music of choice? Techno, of course.
In the future, white guys in dreadlocks are still evil.



Wednesday, May 14, 2003
The New Scholarship of Comics

Most of my attempts to justify my love of comic books, er, graphic novels sound like desperate rationalizations: "No, they can be literate and very smart. Really."

So I am happy to have some help from the Chronicle of Higher Education (via Arts Journal)

"The best and most interesting of comic strips and comic books have entertained but also educated us -- despite (sometimes partly because of) the disapproval that parents and cultural critics have expressed -- all of our lives. They have taught us, despite a paucity of didacticism, about manners and morals, but mostly about the subtly changing scene behind the ostensible narrative of politics, economics, and warfare. ... Comics offer a running commentary, whether by artistic intent or otherwise, on the look and feel of daily life. They provide, at their best (however rare that might be), a meditation on the anonymous social history around us. And they provide, at least potentially, a way for the teacher to connect, without condescending, to the life of the student mind."


What's Your Superpower?

This weekend we had a mini-retreat for our 6th and 7th graders. It was about recognizing that your true self-esteem comes from accepting and celebrating the way God made you. It's actually hard to get these kids to talk about their talents. They are either afraid their talents are not "cool" (they tap dance or play oboe) or they are worried that talking about what they do well will make them appear "conceited."

So, taking an idea from the movie Mystery Men where these ordinary people had dressed up their talents and formed a band of ragtag superheroes, one of the exercises was to get the kids to think of their talents and then come up with a "superhero" that could be their super alter ego. So, like Hank Azaria's "Blue Raja" who threw forks and Janeane Garofalo's "Bowler," we all came up with super heroes. So we had "Oboe Girl," "Soccer Man," "Sewer Breath" (he didn't quite get the concept.) etc.

I, by the way, was "Obscuro." Obscuro's mind is crammed with trivial facts that can be retrieved at any time as long as the facts have no practical application to the situation at hand. He hangs with "Unfinished Project Man" and the "Half-Read Bookworm". All are my super alter egos.

So I laughed out loud when I ran across this funny story, three days later, via Caterina's blog. (The illustrations are tres cool.)

What's Your Superpower?



Tuesday, May 13, 2003
I've Gone Art Scan Happy!!!

Okay, I'll quit scanning and posting my little rectangles soon. I promise. You know how it is with a kid and his new toy, right?

Prayer 11
Prayer #11 (Ink, graphite, and watercolor on paper)




The Art of Letting Go

(As you can see, I got my image hosting capabilities sorted out. Bear with me while I figure out how to do this again. Hopefully my page is not too slow loading now.)

The big problem I have with doing any art is knowing when to stop doing stuff to my art. That moment when some background process in my being says "Stop. Now. Just Stop." and I put down my stuff and quit tweaking it to make it "better." Sometimes I don't listen to that voice and end up with a convoluted mess instead of a simpler mess.

orange seemed like a good idea...
Prayer #4 (Ink and watercolor on paper.)

Like when I did this one. I was playing with order and disorder, regularity and randomess. And color. I like playing with color. So I got my peculiarly uneven ink lines down and covered it with a wash of orange and yellow watercolor (which *still* seeped under my tape -- dammit! -- to a not too unpleasing effect.). And I remember thinking that the orange was "too much" and that I was going to use a cloth to "take up" some of the color. I got a few wipes into taking up some of the color and then the voice came from back inside me -- "Stop." And I did. It was all uneven and blotchy, being right in the middle of removing the excess color and all. But I let it stay. Resisted the urge to make it even. To force it. To "correct it."

To this day, I like it. Maybe it was just the fact that I listened to the inner voice and resisted the urge to control further. This little square reminds me to listen and let go.

No matter how much I try to control, my lines will never be exactly parallel, my color will never be even. My hand will never have the precision my mind desires. So I just try my best and then listen for the voice that calls me to let go.


Innovation

This morning on our walk we passed a woodpecker getting his peck on with the roof of a house in our neighborhood. It made his pecking sound like the rat-a-tat-tat of a snare drum rather than the hollow thonk-thonk-thonk of his fellow peckers. He was the hippest pecker in our neighborhood.


Monday, May 12, 2003
The Bad Paintings Must Be Painted.

prayer 1

This is the painting that caused my watercolor cursing a few weeks back. Not what I was going for, but it turned out to be something I kind of like. Maybe the mind, when looking back on one's mistakes, creates value to salvage the experience. A form of nostalgia maybe.


Amen

"Much that was called religion has carried an unconscious attitude of
hostility toward life. True religion must teach that life is filled with
joys pleasing to the eye of God, that knowledge without action is empty. All
must see that the teaching of religion by rules and rote is largely a
hoax. The proper teaching is recognized with ease. You can know it without
fail because it awakens within you the sensation which tells you this is
something you have always known."

- "The Orange Catholic Bible Commentaries"


This quote grabbed me. Something to keep in mind as a parent and as a catechist.


Ain't She Sweet







Hey! An Egg!

Hold this for me, will you?


Easter Pictures are in. Petunia hunts eggs.


Thursday, May 08, 2003
Squishy Smartmob

I've never been much of a site promoter. You know, building up a high-volume following on the web. If I wanted to get a high hit count, I'd say and do a lot of things differently on my site. No, I'd rather have a select group of contacts on the web who I see as online friends. I guess my online MBTIis different than my real world MBTI.

But if I wanted to build a large online readership and if I were successful (a big "if" indeed), I'd want to do stuff like pamie does. Recently she used her internet fame to help a library that's strapped for cash and her readers responded fabulously. In fact, you can still get on that particular bandwagon if you wish.

This is the most exciting thing about the internet -- that it can be used to motivate and mobilize without the organizational overhead of most grassroots movements. Leveraging one's influence on the internet to create altruistic smartmobs is too cool for school.

As a futurist, I've been kind of half tracking and half rooting for Pamie as a lead indicator for a potential emerging trend -- people who get famous on the net and then leverage that fame into real life. Matt Drudge kind of fits that bill but he had a big scandal to help him out. Pamie, if she can hit it big in L.A. after all, would be the first I know of who's gone bigtime from the web on her own merits. For instance, Her recent book is derived from her hilarious popular online diary in the 1990's (Which is why you can't find it in her site archives anymore. Buy the book you cheapskate!) and it's a good guess that the majority of readership will be former online readers. If she can sell the script, who knows?

And so, as a futurist, I'm monitoring another emerging trend -- virtual activism. Groups like pamie's readers crystallizing around an issue or cause and mobilizing spontaneously in a way that spans geographic, socioeconomic, racial, and other barriers. And in a way that gets real world results. So I read pamie regularly. Not just as a fan, but with an eye toward the Internet's best future.


Futurists' top forty

My old school chum Sandy Burchstead left UHCL and opened a successful business doing futurist stuff merged with education. She's got a great site and is a very talented educator -- if you want to integrate futures thinking into your K-12 curriculum, she's your best bet.

Anyway, a while back I started an email conversation about pop music that talks about the future. The idea was to identify resource material and assess the various ways the future is referred to in pop music. I ended up with a sort of catalog of the future in music. My idea was to post it on the web for all to see and update. So that debuted on my "To-Do" list at number 157 and never broke the 100 mark.

Sandy swooped in and picked up my slack. She posted the chart on her site as a futurists' resource. I couldn't think of a more fitting place for it. Check it out.


Having a Ball

Looking forward to the Art Car Ball tonight. We can't make it to the Art Car Parade this weekend, so the ball will have to be our Art Car fix for the year.

I'm glad that the Ball is back in a parking garage this year. Having it in the Astrodome last year almost killed it. They couldn't serve real food because they had to use the dreaded Dome food. And they couldn't afford to turn the lights completely on so the whole time your eyes didn't know whether to use their rods or their cones. And the Dome swallowed the bands' sound. It was terrible. This year, I'm sure, it's back to its hip zany self.

If you live in Houton, you gotta check the Art Car Ball out. It's the best party in town. And kids can come too. We're taking Girlzilla, who's been an art car fan since she was four years old.


Wednesday, May 07, 2003
The innocence of any flesh sleeping

I found a little treasure chest of Brian Patten's poetry.

Here's my favorite jewel so far:


Sleeping beside you I dreamt
I woke beside you;
Waking beside you
I thought I was dreaming.

Have you ever slept beside an ocean?
Well yes,
It is like this.

The whole motion of landscapes, of oceans
Is within her.
She is
The innocence of any flesh sleeping,
So vulnerable
No protection is needed.

In such times
The heart opens,
Contains all there is,
There being no more than her.

In what country she is
I cannot tell.
But knowing – because there is love
And it blots out all demons –
She is safe,
I can turn,
Sleep well beside her.

Waking beside her I am dreaming.
Dreaming of such wakings
I am all love’s senses woken.

-- Brian Patten



Tuesday, May 06, 2003
Dim Beam

This Bozo makes Bruce Wexler's anti-poetry screed seem downright erudite.

According to columnist Alex Beam in the Boston Globe, National Poetry Month is a "trumped-up, tricked-out, fake celebration," poets are "worthless malingerers," and poetry is "stomach-churning sentiment."

My, my, are someone's hemorrhoids acting up? Or did some cute girl laugh at his pitiable attempts at verse back in seventh grade? Must be an emotional thing, as I can find no logical reason for such a polarized position on poetry.

And apparently Alex Beam cannot find a logical reason either. His argument against poetry is that:

1) Maya Angelou is a sell-out hack.
2) Hallmark sells sentimental schlock.

I'm sorry, but one arguable point about one poet and one obvious truth does not make an effective argument justifying such silliness.

But it is somewhat comforting that anyone can be a columnist for a major daily newspaper these days. There's hope for us bloggers.


Artist: Stephen Eiring

Just to remind myself that Overflow is part blog,
I'll point you to an artist
I like in a Cy Twombly kind of way.


Let Us Play

"As prayer becomes more intimate, grace reaches down into the depths
of our psyche, empowering it to unload the emotional damage and
debris of a lifetime. In time we will make the transition from going
to God through reason and particular acts of the will to going to him
more directly through the intuitive faculties. Then God will relate I am always
to us through them instead of through the external senses, memory,
imagination, reasoning, and acts of the will."

- Thomas Keating [20th C.], "Invitation to Love" -


I am always looking for ways to make prayer more intimate, more intuitive, more natural.

On some of the newer playscapes in the greater Suburban area of Clear Lake there is a feature which is like the modern version of the "tin can with string" telephones we made as kids. There's a megaphone looking thing somewhere on the playground that is connected by a pipe to another megaphone looking thing elsewhere on the playground. I have never seen a kid enjoy that particular feature beyond the two minutes it takes for her to discover, "Wow, sound travels thorough pipes!"

It gets old quickly. Why? Because kids who want to talk to each other don't want a distorting, awkward, unnatural conduit mediating their conversation. They can just walk a few yards and talk face to face.

You know, I feel the same way about almost all types of verbal prayer. Language is for me is a distorting, awkward, unnatural conduit mediating between me and God, in my experience. I need something closer, more "face to face."

Lately I have been using art as prayer, focusing my hands, eyes, and head on a creative task. Inducing flow states, forcing myself to stop, take care, and pay attention. God created each of us with a preferred mode of learning, a unique set of gifts, and, I believe, an optimal way to communicate with Her. And now prayer is not an awkward chore. I enjoy it. I imagine God delights in the fact that I look forward to being with Him. I just need to get rid of the nagging voice that says, "That's not real prayer. You're just playing."

Playing, praying. Whatever.


Swim Mom Season

(I'm learning to post to my blog via email to get around the site blocking whims of Borg Incorporated. Excuse me if my posts look funny or something for a few days as I am not used to doing this by email and the feature gives me less control of how my posts look.)

Yesterday was the first swim practice of summer. Ahhh.

I can't say I like the endless hours sitting in the sun waiting for my kid's three minutes to swim, but I still like swim team season. I like the chloriney smell of pool water when mingled with the faux-tropical scent of sunscreen. I like the bracing cold slap of the first jump into the water on a hot day. I like playing catch with water balls across a big pool. I like the cute little contraptions the babies wear to allow them to swim and keep upright. I love how the pool tires out the kiddos so that they go home and go to bed without the "But it's still light outside" summer bedtime protest. I love cold drinks in coozies, reading in lounge chairs, and the sound of little legs industriously splashing.

Most of all I love the Swim Mom. The Swim Mom is a close cousin to the ubiquitous Soccer Mom, but rarer and therefore more alluring. Soccer Moms are basically seasonless, but the Swim Moms come out of hibernation only for these few months at the beginning of Summer. Sure, you can catch sight of them at other times, but the viewing is best in swim team season in late May and June.

And oh, the beautiful pear-shaped women! All clad in the Swim mom attire -- one piece bathing suit, shorts, and a cap or visor. They come with juice boxes and crackers in tow to satisfy their little tadpoles. They come bearing womens' magazines and Summer Pulp Fiction. They come sipping Iced Tea and Crystal Light and diet soda. Forced into a situation where they must feed, entertain, care for, and track the whereabouts of each little member of their brood at the pool, they are at their most organized, their most prepared, their most sexy. But they don't know how sexy. Brainwashed by the ads in the women's magazines they carry, they have no idea how beautiful they are. And that adds in a poignant way to their allure.

I can't remember the poet who wrote a line about his wife -- "The woman through whom all women must be loved." But that's my wife. She is the one Swim Mom through whom all Swim Moms must be loved. Seeing her in her Swim Mom uniform makes me want to send the kids off with with a juice box, throw away that damned women's magazine, set down the iced tea, and put my hands on my favorite thing about summer.


schedule gone awry

Two things are wreaking havoc with my posting schedule lately, one good, one bad. First, somebody got a whim in our IM department here at Borg Incorporated and decided to block the blogger site. No biggie, but it alters when and how I can post.
 
Second, my wife and I are starting a new habit of getting up early and starting our day by walking together. This gets her up about an hour earlier and gets me going about an hour later than I normally would. This is a very good thing. Been almost a week now.
 
But until my habits rebalance, posting may be erratic.




Friday, May 02, 2003
Girlzilla Rising

In a bizarre move that can only be explained with the help of the DSM IV, one of the parents of a kid in Girlzilla's Girl Scout Troop tried to stage a coup and replace the current leader and install herself. This mom actually sent her kid to school with a petition to get the other girls in the troop to sign. Amazing. And sad.

Girlzilla went to her mom.The Girl Scout Office was called. The coup was thwarted. Somehow the mental case mom saw herself as the victim in all of this. Amazing. And sad.

Anyway, why I'm telling you is that I was proud that my daughter did the right thing. Girlzilla not only refused to sign the petition, but went to her mom and told her which is exactly what we have told her to do in this kind of situation. It's gratifying to see glimpses of the good person Girlzilla is turning out to be. As a parent I get so used to being worried about my kid and how to help her deal with her problems that I sometimes lose sight of the ways in which some of the lessons stick. My baby is growing up to be a mature young lady.


Thursday, May 01, 2003
Poetry is Dead. Long Live poetry.

This guy is seriously full of it. Bruce Wexler, whoever the hell he is, has declared that poetry is dead.

Well, hell, I guess we poets and poet lovers should just pack it in then. We lost Bruce!

His evidence:

1) There are more people who write it than there are who appreciate it, and;
2) Bruce Wexler doesn't read it anymore

Well I don't give a flying you-know-what whether Bruce Wexler reads it. I'll point to my shelf of poetry as a personal counterexample. And doesn't the fact that there are a good number of people who write it mean that there are at least as many people who appreciate it?

Perhaps Bruce is pointing to the obvious fact that poetry is not a mass-media art anymore. Maybe Bruce thinks that art must be packaged for mass-production to be real art. Maybe this says more about Bruce's pedestrian tastes than it does about poetry or art.

Shame for a national mag like Newsweek to waste column-inches like that. Next time they should feature a little-known poet. Heck, that space would have been better used by running back columns of the comic "Nancy."