Monday, December 23, 2002

Gerunds

The gerund is my favorite example of why wisdom is more important than rote knowledge. Who cares what the figure of speech is called? I use verbs ending in -ing in the place of nouns all the time; why, just the other day I said I hate shopping several times with perfect inflection and tonality.

Some signs, all nouns ending in -ing, and their current signifiers.

Eating: Right now, Pepperidge Farm Dark Chocolate Covered Milano Cookies; milk. Probably a bug; I heard somewhere once that the average person eats one bug, whole or in parts, every week. French onion soup at the in-law's tomorrow, followed by hosting the sibs at the apartment that evening with beer, salami, olives, cheese and fondue, the purchase of which necessitated the shopping expedition tonight. Impending Christmas Eve dinner at highbrow Putney Inn with Darcie's whole family.

Feeling: Fat. Dirty -- I need a shower. Chocolaty. Mmmm. Warm and happy.

Reading: Three older Robert Heinlein books Darcie bought me for Christmas, bringing the total collection to about 30. The D'oh! of Homer: The Simpsons and Philosophy, also from Darcie. Still working my way through Seabrook's Nobrow and Tom Wolfe's Hooking Up.

Listening: For The Kids. Cassandra Wilson; Bela Fleck; Norah Jones. WRSI 93.9, The River. Les Claypool's Frog Brigade's cover of Jethro Tull classic Locomotive Breath from Live From Bonnaroo has been thumping in my head for weeks. Christmas samplers, including the Roches We Three Kings and the oft-mentioned Putmayo and Signature Sounds samplers, lent to Ginny to play at work.

Wearing: Um...grey Old Navy knit pullover sweatshirt; Lee jeans; white socks with black shoes; belt; boxers. Stretched-out ponytail elastic. Wedding ring. No watch.

Dreading: Washing diaper wraps. But they're not going to wash themselves.

posted by boyhowdy | 12:57 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, December 22, 2002


Peekaboo!


I See You

The digital camera was full, and none of the Christmas pictures Darcie took last week came out very well, so we took pictures of Willow with a disposable camera and rushed them to the CVS today to get just the right picture for the picture frames that will be Willows present to all her aunts and cousins. The pace, for just an hour or so, while we tried to do shopping and errands and beat the clock for the one hour developing, seemed like that sentence -- too long and too rushed. Luckily, we got a few good pix. Dinner at Friendly's, where the booth seats are just far enough away from the table to wedge the baby's carseat up against us. Home.

Cleaning the camera's drive this evening meant going through a slideshow of the last few months with Willow. I found the picture at the top of today's entry and am considering it for a permanent spot in the blog template. Most of the pix were of equivalent quality; many were blurry. But there were a few accidental gems from way back in August.





Daddy's Little Girl


Mother and Child


Sleeping Beauty



She's so much older today than she was yesterday. And so much more alive. Sigh.

posted by boyhowdy | 9:37 PM | 0 comments


Drunk Poem of the Week

In honor of last night's drunken debauchery, this week's poem is one of my more recent. As such, the title and form are tentative; I have offered two versions that I might look at 'em next to each other for a while, and let 'em duke it out on their own. Comments are welcome.



version one:
Smoking Poetry

When we are high on our own words
And, also, on contraband beer,
And the hall telephone rings in the dark
Four and a half times, we do not answer
Because we may have been seen

Smoking poetry in the yard again.
Everything we do here is about language;
It’s smoking it that makes the difference.
Here the things which in the right light
We might call silences are merely

Notes held, our secret lives
Burning our faces and freezing our palms
Not so much in fear of being caught,
But at the thought of speaking of them
To others reluctant to listen.



version two:
Drinking Poetry

When we are drunk on our own words
And, also, on contraband beer,
And the hall telephone rings in the dark
Four and a half times, we do not answer
Because we may have been seen
Drinking poetry in the yard again.
Everything we do then is about language;

Here the things which in the right light
We might call silences are merely
Notes held, our secret lives
Burning our faces and freezing our palms
Not so much in fear of being caught,
But at the thought of speaking of them
To others too drunk to listen.


Like one more than the other? Comment below or let me know by email.

posted by boyhowdy | 12:25 PM | 0 comments


Sleeping In; Chores

We used to be able to literally do whatever we wanted for days at a time on vacations: sleep late, have an adventure, walk in the woods and carefully out onto the iced-over pond. What with the baby and family, it's nice to have a day off at the beginning of vacation.

Finally, after three months of baby-times awkening and morning commitments, this morning Darcie gave me the gift of sleep and let me be until after 11. Of course, I had to sleep on the futon in the baby's room to make this work, while Darcie and Willow got the bed, but the old futon is still surprisingly firm and resilient, and I slept better than average. I think maybe the residual fear of rolling over on Willow has been lightening my sleep.

Woke to a list of chores and responsibilties from Darcie: reinstall Iomega zip driver on Darcie's laptop; wash diaper wraps and dishes; take out trash and mop up the purple stain it leaves; put Christmas boxes in our storage room down the student hallway. A list light enough to ensure a relaxed day puttering around between work, town, and home. Darcie was already back in bed with Willow, bringing her new puppet critters to life, introducing Willow with amazement to the new monkey in the house.

Alicia and Matt will be here tomorrow, and then Monday evening we're hosting the Christmas siblings in their entirety -- Clay and Josh, Alicia and Matt, Ginny and us -- for a little casual cheer and beer before the parent generations join us more formally on Tuesday. Seems promising, all of it; it's not sleep, but it'll do just fine.

posted by boyhowdy | 12:15 PM | 0 comments


Week Six?

For a moment there, it seemed like a good idea to write a blog entry about how this blog is finally in its sixth week.

Then it didn't anymore.

posted by boyhowdy | 12:02 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, December 21, 2002

Jewboy's Drunken List of Christmas Traditions

1. Shopping with Ginny
I first met Virginia in 1991, when Darcie and I dropped out of college and showed up at her house. Ginny was nine years old, a vaguely remembered shy and willowy background element in a tumultuous time. By 1995, when we moved back to Southern Vermont to continue our lives together, Ginny was the potentially errant teenager that we got along well with and hosted for once a week schoolnight respites. Since that time, Ginny and I have become friends, and our yearly shopping expeditions are primarily enjoyable, especially when she and I can sneak away from Darcie (and Willow, now) to shop for her and for each other.

Today we once again chose Northampton, since it had done so well for Darcie and I last week. Lots of shops with diverse and quality merchandise with little practical value led to plenty of good and imaginative present-buying just barely under the group-imposed spending limit of our siblings and their significant others. I managed to sneak off twice and buy Darcie two Folkways puppets: a small scrunchyface monkey and a velcro-ed together mother and daughter opossum set.


Welcome Darcie's New Christmas Gifts: Folkmanis Folktails puppets!



2. Darcie Has Had Enough
It happens every year. There comes a point in the middle of the street when, without warning, something inside Darcie snaps. Suddenly we are speeding up, and passing stores without looking at them. Stopping her to angrily and inappropriately demand that we talk about what is happening is the initial cue for a traditional heated public exchange of grumpiness and hunger, with the prerequisite furtive looks from innocent shoppers and locals, which ends in getting lunch and agreeing that we did very well after all and should go home soon.

Lunch today brought a lucky discovery off the beaten path and away from the maddening crowd: the Northampton Brewery, a brewpub with a southern flair which we had seen but never yet attended. Hard wood, shiny copper tabletops and lighting focusing the eye on the bar, a chalkboard list of the in-house brews plus Guiness and perhaps a Sierra Nevada pale ale, hot cider for Darcie and top-notch buffalo wings for the table let us know we had found someplace special, the rare breed of local brewery at which entire towns become intimate regulars. Makes me long for the days at college when we used to go to McNeill's in Brattleboro every Thursday night. Back when I knew everyone who walked into the joint, and it was nice to know you'd always be welcomed by name (even if your name was drunkenly slurred; all the better).

3. Giving Presents Again...and Again
Ginny had to run to work; Darcie and I unpacked and presented our second round of gifts this season. Over the years, I think we've gotten to a point where we know each other well enough that we know we've got something special, and just can't wait to see our partner open our gift. In response, we've gradually developed a tradition of giving gifts long before the traditional two-hour family Christmas gift exchange at the in-laws.

The problem with early gift-giving when one will be together through the holidays, though, is twofold. First, you're still shopping, so you keep seeing things your partner might like better, so of course you have to get it for them even though technically you're "done" exchanging presents. Second, now that you've seen what your partner has got you, you feel inferior, because you idealize their present-buying (and cost) while justifying and minimizing your own. With an extra few days, you can keep trying to "top off" your gifts to your loved one, and end up more loving -- as if this were something you could win, or would want to.

So tonight was round two. The Folkmanis Folktails puppets went over well; Darcie loves the Folktail series, and already has a Chipmunk and the discontinued and now ebay-valuable Venus Flytrap, which comes with a fingerpuppet fly in its jaws, and really loves being able to animate. I got a Fun With Dick and Jane magnet set: Oh! Oh! Look! Stong Magnets. It even comes with Puff and Spot!

4. Drunk at the Employee Christmas Party

Heck, drunk writing the blog tonight. We only stayed an hour 'cause we had to wake the baby to bring her, which left her mostly un-recharged, at about 10% battery power -- you know, when the laptop starts warning you to save your work now because it's about to be time to go bye bye. Except Willow rubs her eyes and rolls her head around over your arm when you hold her when she's ready to go back to bed, and doesn't beep warningly.

The one-hour limit made for an ill-defined experience, part wallflower babycare and part faculty mixer around the nut-encrusted calamari and the steamed shu mai. I managed to fit in two glasses of wine and a double-Kahlua coffee into that time, and though I never did have my traditional drunken exchange with the Head of the school, which I just as traditionally can't remember the next morning, it's all making me sleepy despite the coffee.

Yawn.

More traditions will fill the week; stay tuned for Monday night dinner at the Steak Out with the cousins from California, Tuesday Christmas on the day before, Wednesday silence and snuggling, New Years in the Boonies, and my younger Brother's 28th birthday family dinner at Redbones with my side of the family. Mmmm....catfish.

posted by boyhowdy | 10:43 PM | 0 comments


Free Plug: For The Kids



I can't stop listening to this album.

Get it.

Download and print out the first page of the For The Kids coloring book:


JPG version.
PDF version.

Oh, and I forgot to mention: In the USA, a portion of the proceeds for the album will go to VH1 Save The Music Foundation; in Canada, a portion of the proceeds will go to The Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach -- An Arts Umbrella Project.

And, of course, the first 25,000 copies of the album include a crayon generously supplied by Colorific. Mine's green.

posted by boyhowdy | 12:24 AM | 0 comments

Friday, December 20, 2002

Christmas Moments: The Good, The Bad, and the Stupid


The Angel of Remembrance, with Willow branches


Hoorah for a short day with nothing much to do but eat too much gift chocolate, hand out hand creams and sweet-smelling soaps to coworkers, and chat with giddy students with time to savor. By noon we had locked the doors to the library next door and were closed for the Holidays. Spent just shy of two hours at the Library/Media annual Christmas party, mostly on a couch chatting with Shane about dogs and cats while we watched...dogs and cats. Too few people under a two-story tree in a cavernous house; Chinese food and Fresca and chocolate desserty thingies I never got to; after squeezing past the minivans in the mud-packed driveway, I decided to go into town for a short shopping trip in hopes of buying Darcie a good Christmas present.

Have I mentioned that I am an idiot? I had told Darcie that I'd be home by three. But by 4:00, after not finding any of the three things I want to get her but buying her a very cool wine valour button down and a beaded glasses neck chain, and of course buying a Holly-motif outfit in denim and green valous for Willow and the Willow Tree angel ornament you see above, I bumped into Laura, a friend and co-worker, and she didn't have to twist my arm very hard to buy me a beer and a clove cigarette in Taylors, which serves perfect buffalo wings...what with one thing and another, as my mother used to say when skipping the boring parts of the book, time passed.

I hereby announce that I Did It Wrong; I, too, would have thought of the rain and the bald tires on the slippery wet roads and panicked; I, too, would have been scared and angry if I were in Darcie's place. Good thing I had presents. After dinner and an hour for Darcie to thaw, we sat by the tree and opened (some) presents this evening while Willow gurgled under the tree and batted at the lights and Santas. My loverly Unitarian wife got me a tallis and yarmulke set in embroidered cotton and gold-panted silk, an extraordinary thoughtful gesture and a show of support for raising Willow truly of two faiths rather than in a combination of the two. It's the high road and quite likely impossible to raise a kid comprehensively in two faiths at once, but we're giving it the ol' prep try.

Then bathtime, a time when I am able to serve my most neurotic and anxious instincts towards the baby: so much can go wrong, and so much can be scrutinized when naked and clean. Usually there's nothing to make a fuss over but what-ifs, but tonight for one horrible moment we thought the baby was allergic to the Christmas tree. A rash was spreading across her torso, vivid red bumps magnified bigger-than-goosepimple by our concern; after her bath with Darcie, the bumps started spreading to her back. Whooping cough is going around the school; it's too early for Willow's boosters to have kicked in and both Darcie and I, although innoculated since childhood, could be carriers, so the little nervous man that lives in my skull has plenty to worry about these days.

Sickness is scary; it gets easier and easier to imagine the horrow of losing her as Willow appears to be turning into a person right before our very eyes. Tonight she hit primate stage, lifting her feet up to the sky and rolling over in one smooth move, curling up like an orangutan against Darcie to nurse. Our little monkey. Sniff. Too cute. Too hilarious.

Cuddles by the virtual hearth with Darcie afterwards, flipping the channels from awful Christmas movies to awful Christmas specials to awful A Very Special Christmas episodes of shows we don't want to watch anyway, talking of college days, and none of your business, anyway.

Oh, Thursday? Not much to write about, really; a few late Channukah presents from Darcie, including For The Kids, a very cool kids album which comes with a crayon. Mine's green. Mostly muppets songs but a few oddities on this one, and a great cast: Barenaked Ladies cover my favorite Sesame Street song La La La La Lemon; Sarah McLachlan does justice to The Rainbow Connection; Cake does Manah Manah and Glen Phillip does Have a Little Fun With Me; Guster and Dan Zanes and Tom Waits, oh my; Billy Bragg and Wilco cover an odd little Guthrie tune called My Flying Saucer...oh, just buy it from Amazon already.

Shopping with Darcie and Virginia tomorrow in Northampton; later, the big school Christmas party, this year big in spirit but smaller in spirits, due to a budget crunch. Surely more to speak of then, traditionally drunk (well, it is my yearly Holiday party tradition to get trashed and have an incoherent conversation with the Headmaster).

posted by boyhowdy | 11:53 PM | 0 comments

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Living In The Past

This week's Newsweek cites Faulkner's famous phrase, the past is never dead; it's not even past, in exploring the roots which brought fellow Mississippian Trent Lott to his current about-to-be-ostracized status as a public embarrassment. It's a PR disaster, and everyone is horrified, but I just feel bad for the esteemed Senate majority leader. No knee-jerk liberal I, I think Lott isn't evil, just a smart guy in a dumb moment, a southern gentleman of an outdated age with a seriously dated moral code and cultural outlook who let his mouth run away from him while cameras rolled and journalists scribbled around him.

I was more struck, in the end, by the fit between Faulkner's words and my own life than I was with the story of Lott's villany and villification. There's a wonderful sense that every moment is now, a condensed and holistic view of history, in much of Faulkner; to call it timelessness is both plumb wrong (for how can a story of the Great Depression, such as Grapes of Wrath, be anything but a historically grounded moment) and not focused enough. In Faulkner and in my life, overlaid upon the sequence of events which we call life is a kind of everpresent now, one inclusive of every moment to be and every moment past.

For this is the week that the past haunts us here at NMH, when the students we have recently sent to college come home for the holidays long before we are free to celebrate ourselves.

And tonight is the night I finally got to spend a good amount of time with my daughter, a good three hours between arriving home after work and her bedtime just a moment ago, bathing and laughing, playing and watching each other in the zen silence, the still moments of the infant/parent bond. Saying goodnight to Willow this evening before her mother curled around her in our communal bed, I realized that she's only been laughing for a few weeks now, and smiling for a couple of months. But when I first saw her, when she was still only a head coming out of the C-section slit, her lungs filled with new air, and she screamed a scream so robust it would call me in at a run if I heard it now. Only parents truly know: although we are born crying, we must learn how to laugh.

I'm so grateful, I thought, for the gift of my daughter's laughter, and for the friends I have made of just a very select few students, Meg and Ashley and Tom who visited this season; Brian and Dan who call occasionally to let me know how things are; Molly, mark, Kiernan, and the rest of the rising generation of pre-graduates. I know each of us, as teachers, have our crowds, our friends, our proudest moments in youth, in our own children in these students. I will go forward into tomorrow and the next day, into the new year, resolved to keep those friendships strong, and to engender new friendships this year and every year I teach and live.

posted by boyhowdy | 6:18 PM | 0 comments

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Deep Thoughts, Shallow Paragraphs

The point of the blog, to me, is to heighten the sense of relevance. It is an opportunity and a mandate to be profound on a daily basis. Some other random thoughts I've been having:
  • I've accepted Winter and moved on. Does Winter become the way things are around this time of year every year, or is it just this year?
  • I am an autophile; I like my blog better than I like most other blogs. Nevertheless, seeing so many lives out there in all their cyberglory makes me happy, and discovering odd blogtopics or subgenres makes me happier.
  • Comments make me REALLY happy. Please say hi when you stop by!
  • Blogging is not so different from being on the radio. Both are intimately created, but invisibly read. Both involve some amount of public service announcement. Both are collage forms. Blog comments are like radio station callers; they let you know someone's out there.
  • If I'm really tired all the time, and by Wednesday of every week I need to take a nap, maybe I'm not nocturnal after all.
  • If my job were to disappear, I'd be unhappy, but ultimately I could cope with anything right now. The realization makes one feel superhuman.
  • Al Gore is SO primed to be a serious Presidential candidate in 2008. Want proof that Al Gore has changed? Zellie the spaz-dog, who until now was really only interested in other dogs on TV, barked at Al Gore's image today.
  • Either that, or even the dog thinks politics bear watching right now.




posted by boyhowdy | 11:51 PM | 0 comments


A Night Of Profundity With The Clown Of God



Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Clown



Virginia was very profound this evening. Christmas goes well with Winter, she said; it's like a reward. We were sitting in the car on our way home from Tributary, our weekly radio show, when she said it. The night and the snow were blue with moonlight, the air crisp and cold; the snow fell from the trees occasional feathers, as if molting swans flew overhead. It's good to have friends like Ginny.

Radio show was unsettling a bit; I had to have a meeting unexpectedly in the middle of it for 45 minutes and so Ginny ran the show from The Biscuit Boys to Erin McKeown in the playlist below; it doesn't feel like a complete experience somehow having skipped out in the middle for so long. But according to my notes, we read Christmas stories on this our last Trubutary broadcast until after the New Year: van Allenburg's The Polar Express, De Paola's The Clown Of God, and a winter poem by Carl Sandburg from a 1976 issue of Cricket magazine. And our usual eclectic mix of folk and blues and pop 'n stuff was salted liberally with Christmas songs and the Christmas spirit.

As always, bloggernauts, this week's A Very Merry Tributary playlist follows:

Bob Dorough -- Too Much Coffee Man
Jack Johnson w/ DJ Logic -- Rodeo Clowns
Barenaked Ladies -- Grade 9
*Pete Nelson -- You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch
The Be-Bop Boys -- Serenade To A Square
Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks -- Meet me On The Corner
String Cheese Incident -- Restless Wind
Some blues song from the Pumayo World Music Christmas Sampler for which I have lost the booklet
Dar Williams -- The Christians and the Pagans
Cassandra Wilson -- Darkness On The Delta
*Mark Erelli -- This Ain't No Time Of Year To Be Alone
Biscuit Boys -- El Cumberchero
String Cheese Incident -- Drifting
They Might Be Giants -- Fibber Island
The Muppets -- The 12 Days of Christmas
Eddie From Ohio -- Quick
Phish -- some live song from
A Live One that Ginny can't remember
Moxy Fruvous -- Horseshoes
Les Claypool's Frog Brigade -- Locomotive Breath
Erin McKeown -- The Little Cowboy
Donna The Buffalo -- Seems To Want To Hurt This Time
*Louise Taylor -- Let's Make A Baby King
Shawn Colvin -- Christmas Time Is Here
John Gorka -- Christmas Bells
*Waters, Moore & Arbo -- Nowell Sing We



Starred entries are from Wonderland, a sampler of local artists on local label Signature Sounds. As their website promises, in the spirit of the season, partial proceeds from the sale of this album will benefit the Food Bank Of Western Massachusetts. Support your local community and your local artists, feed the hungry, and please your ears all at once -- Order it today!

posted by boyhowdy | 12:52 AM | 0 comments

Monday, December 16, 2002

More Happy Sharing Things

Hey, Rube!

GOD AND HIS BEGOTTEN SON DISCUSS THE RESURRECTION AND THE FATE OF HUMANITY, BUT THROUGH AN ONLINE MEDIUM. BY THOMAS E. SPOTH

Now, doesn't that make you want to go read this lovely piece I unearthed from the archives at McSweeney's, home of the new young lions of the literati? I promised myself I'd never cut and paste a long chat into a blog entry, but I couldn't resist linking to one, especially a fictional one as funny as this.

posted by boyhowdy | 12:43 AM | 0 comments


Ye Olde Poem Of The Week

Long before I met my Unitarian wife, I knew the words to more Christmas carols than most people: the Holiday spirit has always moved me. I love wandering through the bustling crowds thinking about the people I love and the things I love about them, and I love finding the perfect gift. I love the stillness and purity of NMH very excellent Choral/Orchestral Christmas Vespers Concert, which we saw this afternoon with my parents.

Darcie and I got engaged on Christmas Eve, 1996. Her family Christmas get-together, chock full of tradition and good cheer, has in recent years become a focal point, a liminal period, an opening of the senses for the transition from old to new. I wrote this week's poem about a month after the engagement on a cold, starrystill winter's night.


Winter Song


Six below and still; the cusp, the epiphany:
craving one last cigarette I sneak into Vermont winter
under Ames Hill, behind my future in-laws' home
in the valley below Marlboro College.

The moon blue air and the snow are frozen;
overhead, concentric circles of hazy color
break the surface of the sky,
ripple from the year's first cast white stone --

my breath casts wisps of shadow on the plow-flattened drive
as I pace, trying to keep the blood flowing.
Above the house the big dipper
dribbles bare branches down its handle

into the Thurber's barn, stirring milk cows;
but I feel the cold. Finishing, I work embers,
the last of the tobacco, off the filter, into the snow;
with its last heat the coal hisses and burrows out of the wind.


copyright Joshua L. Farber 1/6/1996

posted by boyhowdy | 12:10 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, December 15, 2002

The Tires Are The Things On Your Car That Make Contact With The Road

Tonight Phish appeared on Saturday Night Live, their first live show in several years. Now, I'm no Phishhead. I have a strong affinity for music and, like many people, need my life to have a soundtrack, and I own almost all their studio albums, and I saw them for the first time over ten years ago in a three thousand seat venue in Somerville Massachusetts and sat in the fifth row next to Jon Fishman's mother. But I don't have it in me to be a true follower of any musical phenomenon. I enjoy a good concert but I won't cry if I miss a performer I like when they come to a nearby venue, and I might not feel like going that night even if I'm free. I'm of the school of thought that all music has merit, as evidenced by my bluegrass to blues, folk to funk, jazz to jambands, littlebitcountry littlebitrockandroll radio playlists and mp3 collection. I like too many kinds of music to specialize.

Still, it was nice to have it on in the background, and the students were happy I mentioned that Phish was going to be on. When I came in from duty at midnight about twenty of 'em were gathered around the broadcast hearth laughing together, which warms my heart in the cheesiest way. And, if they stayed up late enough, they got to see Tipper Gore with her arm around Trey Anastasio during the final goodnight, a juxtaposition of values and iconography worthy of a master's thesis.

Also on SNL tonight: Al Gore, who was better than the name Al Gore suggests -- Tipper was just visiting for the final thankyous, I guess -- and a Robert Smigel takeoff on Charlie Brown's Christmas episode wherein the gang develops magical powers, suddenly able to do, to everything and everyone, what they did in turning the sad ol' Christmas tree into a shiny and suddenly perfect tree (and with Phish soundtrack instead of the original Vince Guraldi, whose name I can't spell).

In other tire-related news, now that we've taken in my grandfather's old couch-on-wheels, it's time to retire the camping van. I'll miss it; the van got us through two years of music festivals and, once I connected with a couple of kids who loved a genre of music I too love, and were willing to pay for my ticket if I'd chaperone, the van took kids to the best jamband concerts, including String Cheese Incident, Widespread Panic (RIP), Michael Franti and Spearhead, Jazz Mandolin Project, and Keller Williams. We paid about $3500 dollars for it two years ago, so even though it's too rusty to pass inspection and not worth the cash it would take to rebuild the body from scratch, I feel like I've gotten a fair use out of it. But I will miss the lifestyle the van implied, and miss living that lifestyle through its oversized armchair driver's seat and backseat bed. Maybe I should have titled tonight's entry Oh The Places You've Gone.

posted by boyhowdy | 1:02 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, December 14, 2002

My First Lost Entry

I wrote a beautiful blog tonight, about family and generations shifting forward as children become parents and my mother crying at the loss of her mother when looking at my child in the arms of her mothers sister; about being daddy, and seeing parents turn into someone else's grandparents; about presents and giving and receiving what one really wants; about supper with my parents at the Blue Heron, a 5-star restaurant on the water where an old mill once stood in a small impossible-to-find town.

And then it was gone, and with it my memories. Now anger and frustration fill my brain, and although I ache at the loss of my memories on the goddamnitall screen, I understand in this moment what it is to blog. For all the debate about who and what the blog is for, it took loss for me to see that the blog truly is for the self; that the invisible projected other is incidental after all. For when writing for others, loss means trying again. But here, in the quiet moment of loss, I understand my heart, and it says it cannot be written again; let it go.

I think of Eudora Welty, who wrote, in her short story No Place For You, My Love:

A thing is incredible, if ever, only after it is told -- returned to the world it came out of.

And I know that she is wrong. A thing is incredible when it is told, but it need not be returned to be told -- to return it now would mean reconstructing a reconstruction, moving further from what I felt, moving towards what I wish I could remember I had once said. It is the telling, not the tale, which matters to my heart, and that telling has been told whether it is lost or remains.

And so I choose to keep my lost memories of this evening as incredible. They will remain unwritten, after all.

posted by boyhowdy | 9:31 PM | 0 comments


Lullaby Lull

Christmas tree shopping was cancelled by mutual consent because it was raining too hard, so I sit here at the laptop in the middle of the best kind of downtime, that time where you were supposed to be doing something else but unexpectedly ended up off your feet with nothing planned. Darcie and the baby have gone to take a nap with the dog, leaving me to re(dis)cover and address the blog.

I'm especially thankful for the break in the schedule, as this is the final rest before a straight seven-day push of work and hardcore play and busy-ness before the student diaspora of Christmas vacation and New Years. The weekend has already been hectic: I was on duty last night, and then had an early start this morning for a breakfast interview with my one remaining college recommendation prospect. After that, I helped Darcie watch the baby and set up for this evening's semi-formal in the Northfield student center, James-Bond-themed this year to encourage formal wear and tuxedos. Wish I could see it in full swing this evening, as the lights and dance cages look like fun, but I'm on duty again tonight. At least it'll be quiet, what with all the kids on the other campus for the dance.

Since we were in separate cars, on the way home from Northfield I squeezed in a much-overdue visit to Wendy the barber to have my beard trimmed. Wendy's was full of hunters finishing their season, returning to their workday haircuts after weeks of mornings in the brush and camping stove coffee, but her good work is easily worth the wait, as trying to cut my own beard is a dissatisfying disaster every time. I get so fussy and stressed out trying it myself that I end up cutting a little more from this side, then a little more to match from the other...you get the picture. It takes hours, and I hate both the time spent and the final result every time. Perfectionism comes through at funny times, but when you wear your efforts on your face all the time it seems like it should be worth it...until you're left with a tiny gen-X goatee instead of your preferred full beard, and then perfectionism becomes a burden. Thank goodness for Wendy; I gave her a $10 Christmas bonus and told her I'd be back after the holidays.

And now here we are, safe and sound and static in the rainy afternoon, waiting, relaxing, making hot cocoa while the family sleeps. My parents are coming up from Boston to see the infant (and us) and for tomorrow's Christmas Vespers service and choral concert, an annual tradition here at NMH; theoretically they should arrive at 4:00 or so, although they have always been and will surely always be the kind of people who are perennially late for everything -- I was 14 and going to the movies on my own before I realized that they show previews before the movie begins. I can't wait to show them the stupid human tricks their grandaughter has picked up since they last saw her at Thanksgiving. Just yesterday, in fact, she learned how to stand up against the ottoman all by herself. I love parenthood.

posted by boyhowdy | 2:23 PM | 0 comments

Friday, December 13, 2002

The Shopping Block



Downtown Northampton, MA


Classes were delayed three hours today after the storm, so I got to sleep in. This unexpected benefit was offset severely, however, by the cancellation of his afternoon's speaker, Howard Zinn. Yeah, that Howard Zinn, the guy who wrote A People's History of the United States. I'm hoping he can reschedule. Prep school hath its privleges; in previous years I've actually been required to attend presentations by Ken Burns, Maya Angelou, Mary Matalin and James Carville, The president of South Africa, the Harlem Gospel Choir, astronauts and glassblowers and writers and scientists and civil right's activists and a holy host of others; this year's schedule includes John Updike.

With the students in class almost all of what was left of the workday and an entirely Zinn-less campus, though, it was a pretty lazy day at the office (a.k.a the media center), at least until I left early to get home and go holiday shopping in Northampton with the wife and kid. Then the day tuned into something between a death march and an easter egg scavenger hunt in FAO Schwarz.

Don't get me wrong; I'm a born and bred shopaholic, having spent much of my suburban middle-class adolescence hanging out in the mall. My father and I used to shop together like some fathers and sons go to baseball games or stand knee-deep in moving water and throw flies. And I like shopping: the plethora of new things under my fingers; the textures and bright displays; the smell of the crowd and the salesgirl banter. But while downtown shopping offers all these things and more, it isn't like the mall. One is constantly bundling up and unzipping again; merely going from store to street from store becomes an adventure. And downtown Northampton, which goes for four or five blocks on both sides of the street with side streets, is built on a slope, which on the downhill means holding back the otherwise runaway baby carriage, and on the uphill feels like the trials of a modern day Sisyphus. I don't miss the depersonalization of the same-ol'-same-ol' mall chain stores selling identical styles, but I guess even after living the rural life for a decade there's still a part of my soul that longs for escalators and heating vents.

Still, I enjoyed it for a while, and found numerous things to covet, both for myself and for Willow (Having A Baby brings with it an entirely new interest in an entirely new kind of commerical arena, which really just means there's more interesting stuff in almost every store than there used to be). Checked the price on many items in many stores full of artifacts of modern life, clothes and books and toys and things, from high art to popular culture. Stared hard at lighthouse windchimes and porcelain sardines, smiley-face cheese slicers and calf-skin travel journals, glass dragonflies and woolen jester shoes in bright colors with bells sew around the rims. We stopped for supper in a Mexican place with counter service when we could stand it no more and recharged over chorizo and egg tacos, chicken enchiladas, chips with some spicy picante, and fried plantains before we went on. Even bought some things, but I ain't tellin' what, or for whom, 'cept to say that, all in all, we managed to cross five people off our list in five hours.

Then we came home, set the VCR to tape ER, and collapsed. Digging the other car out will have to wait.

posted by boyhowdy | 12:09 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, December 12, 2002

Found A Peanut


Two things happily worth sharing, happily.


1. We Made Out In A Tree And This Old Guy Sat And Watched Us: A very funny site dedicated, in the host's own words, to "unusual quotes, strange statements, bad writing and other oddities of the language. Things that are funny because of the specific choice of words. Things that sound great because of the context, or that sound even better when given no context at all. (Like the name of the site, for example.)." Or:

Obvious Statements, Part III From the instructions for a Chinese-made alarm clock purchased in Hong Kong:
"Due to the perfection of the alarming mechanism, you are never awake when you are asleep."

2. Shel Silverstein, playboy writer: A collection of works written by Shel Silverstein and published in the pages of Playboy magazine between 1956 and 2001. All are...well, racy enough and un-PC-enough and funny enough for Playboy. Songs, old blackandwhite television stills with odd captions, and cartoons, including several longer-length illustrated collections on topics such as scouting, nursery rhymes, and imaginary zoo beasts:

posted by boyhowdy | 12:44 AM | 0 comments


Snow White and the Seven Blogs

Wow, it's really coming down out there. Snow flakes like banana chips, like feathers, like snowballs. It's heavy, and comes up to the dog's ankles. Did you know the reason a dog's leg looks like it bends backwards is because its ankles are about halfway up its leg?

At this point, it could be a snow day, or it could just be a day with snow. You never know: tomorrow could be a fluffy white day with blinding reflections, a fine and rare day indeed. But standing out there just outside the door, under the sagging concrete overhang, it just seemed peaceful. Through the chain link I could see the tennis courts, stripped of their nets for winter, hibernating under a thick and growing blanket.

Last year the pond froze over weeks before the first real snow. It was clear all the way down, like standing on ice cubes or glass. The bubbles rising through the congealing water had left smooth round holes, one on top of another, like the spaces left behind by a stack of granite stones washed smooth by the ocean might look if the granite simply melted away. Virginia I broke through the thin sheets of ice cover and hollowed out the holes, exposing the thin piggy-bank slits connecting them to the ones next below; and through these slits we dropped pennies, and imagined them there forever, deep in the ice beyond reach.

I think I'll go disrupt the tennis courts. They seem so pristine. I want to be that pure.

posted by boyhowdy | 12:19 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Long Time Gone

I've been off-blog for about 40 hours, the longest lag-time between entries since I went on vacation over Thanksgiving break. I thought about blogging a couple of times, and I showed the blog to a few more teachers so they could see what I mean when I say "blog," but there was always something I was just about to do, and I never (b)logged on. No withdrawl symptoms, though. Guess I'm not an addict after all.

So, let's see: where was I? Oh yes. When last we saw our hero, he had just come out of a nice toasty hot tub, his belly filled with happy-making sushi and dim sum.

So much for relaxation.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays are really my busiest days here at NMH; sure enough, 'twas a busy day yesterday and a busier one today, full of the usual mundane/inane/insane bits and pieces which make up my humdrum life. Tuesday highlights included shorting out Laura's computer trying to do a tech assist while observing her class for her three-year review; fiddling with SWIS far too much and accomplishing far too little, and cancelling a meeting of the Professional Development Committee of the Faculty to spend the evening over in the neighboring girl's dorm talking with David about a non-linear research project assignment we're co-teaching for his Issues in the 21st Century class. Today started with a full 105 minute class going over the research project parameters with David's students, moved from there to some cranky-baby babycare while Darcie had a budget meeting and then, after lunch, an all-too-solemn meeting of my own department where we discussed little but the financial straits of the school and how they'll affect us, and isn't over -- I start dorm duty in a half an hour.

If You Lived Here, You'd Be Wet By Now

The weather report says up to 10 inches of evil snow-and-sleet starting tonight and into tomorrow; on my drive home I heard Johnny Memphis on The River, my favorite DJ on my favorite radio station, recommending that you get where you need to be for the night quickly so you're off the road before it all starts. In fact, a quick peek out the window confirms it: up the hill, I can see the beginnings of freezing rain washing the students off the hill on their way home from dinner at the dining hall.

We're in the drugery days of midwinter at boarding school, which traditionally brings a layer of ennui and tedium over everything we do until Christmas break. In the forecast for tonight's duty is therefore some rare excitement, in this case brought on by hopefulness for a snow day that will probably never come...which means another night of unfocused students who are supposed to be studying. Sigh. Everyone's been talking about the snow day possibilities all day, but I'm not holding my breath. 5 years here at Northfield Mount Hermon tells me that we tend to err on the side of getting everyone the heck out of the dorms and into the classrooms whenever we can.

Nevertheless, I'm worried: the new car doesn't just feel like a boat...it turns out to handle like a boat, too, swinging wide in turns and sliding all over the place on the rare patches of ice I've encountered over the past few days. I neglected to get both snow tires and sandbags (for weight) for the trunk, so it looks like if there is school tomorrow, I'm driving the Camry, and leaving Darcie and baby at home without a car. I guess there's not much they'd need it for at home, but I worry too much about what might happen -- what if the baby fell off the changing table and had to go to the hospital?

posted by boyhowdy | 6:40 PM | 0 comments

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Still Not Tuesday

It bugs me that Blogger thinks it's already Tuesday when it's really late Monday night. You can set the blogger code to your own time zone, but there's no way to change the settings so that "tomorrow" starts at 2:00 a.m. instead of midnight. I think blogger is prejudiced against the semi-noctural. Or, come to think of it, it's all true outside of the bloggiverse; maybe it's just our cultural conventions of duration and/or time frame, where the notches on the measuring stick are painted, that are prejudiced.

Great, now I'm getting paranoid, all conspiracy-theory-like. If the world of order and sequence is out to get me, does that make me the spirit of entropy?




Went hot tubbing this evening at East Heaven Hot Tubs in Northampton, a place with private rooms by the hour and a wooden Japanese theme. Darcie's parents were already planning to go themselves, but volunteered to watch the baby while we went first, which was nice. It had been a while; we used to go down to the hot tubs almost every other week, Darcie couldn't go in while she was pregnant, and I hadn't been since taking my advisee group last Spring (a big hit). They have speakers in each hot tub room, and Darcie had picked out some Gregorian chants which befitted the mood nicely.

Willow was bugeyed watching bugeyed fish when we came out. Neil was holding her up to the tank, and she kept trying to reach around the glass to grab the koi. Confusion is so endearing.

Went to Teapot for potstickers and sushi afterwards; I had egg drop soup and shrimp dim sum dumplings and Peking Ravioli and Dragon something, California rolls wrapped in eel and avocado, and Darcie had her usual California roll supper with miso soup. It felt just like old times, except for the baby trying to knock over the waterglass.

Home in time to meet up with Ginny and go over to Northfield for the radio show. I drank far too much coffee on the way over and spent the show bouncing around the studio, playing music to match. Bedtime stories tonight on Tributary were from How To Eat Like A Child, by Delia Ephron; set list follows:

Bob Dorough -- Too Much Coffee Man (our theme song)
Sarah Harmer -- Basement Apartment
Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks -- Meet Me At The Corner
Oysterhead -- Oz Is Ever Floating
They Might Be Giants -- Fibber Island
The Biscuit Boys -- Ramblin' Fever
Trout Fishing In America -- Happy That You're Here
John Gorka -- Around The House
Barenaked Ladies -- King Of Bedside Manor
Ben Harper -- The Drugs Don't Work
Moxy Fruvous -- Green Eggs And Ham
Mark Erelli -- Little Sister
Garcia and Grisman -- Arkansas Traveler
Ween -- Bananas And Blow
Keller Williams -- Best Feeling
Galactic -- Tiger Roll
Mano Chau -- Me Gustas Tu
Ani Difranco -- Welcome To
Dixie Chicks -- Goodbye Earl
Marc Cohn -- Rest For The Weary
Jackson Jills (the Tufts women's a capella group) -- Wannabe
Kasey Chambers -- A Little Bit Lonesome
Eddie From Ohio -- Let's Get Mesolithic
Norah Jones -- Come Away With Me
Crowded House -- She Goes On
Indigo Girls -- Fare Thee Well

posted by boyhowdy | 1:59 AM | 0 comments

Monday, December 09, 2002

No Garfield, I

A few years ago I managed to make a successful case to the folks I work with (and work for) that my evening and weekend responsibilities should allow me a bit of flex-time during the week when I am otherwise expected to be running the school media center. Since then, I have taken Monday mornings off. I find this significantly softens the blow of the work-week.

This term, I have a class on my home campus from 2:10 to 3:40 on Monday afternoons. Because I'm going to have to prepare my materials for an hour or so before class, I don't go in to the office at all. It's not a bad life: sleep until 9:30, babycare in the mornings for an hour while Darcie goes to work, lunch out of the fridge instead of the dining hall, and then an hour to wander and prepare my class notes after Darcie's mother shows up around 1:00 for childcare. Then Mass Media Messages, the kind of course which makes everyone wish they were in my class:

MED09 Mass Media Messages
Butthead, Bart, Kyle, and Cartman: A study in mass media. Through close media exploration and analysis of Beavis and Butthead, The Simpsons, and South Park, three "generations" of controversial animated sitcoms which use the unique perspective of young people to frame satirical portrayals of society, cultural norms, popular culture, current events, and the adult/youth dynamic in modern American culture, students in this course will identify common themes in mass media and in society today, and will discuss the meaning of their particular manifestations in various media forms. Specific topics will include gender, race, violence, patriotism, generational difference, and other issues of identity and morality.


The class is the only one I teach in Winter term in our trimester system, and it's a minor course, so it meets only twice a week, has no homework, and is serious but ultimately lower-stakes from both student and institutional perspective. Fall I also teach Intro to Web design in the minor course curriculum; Spring I also teach an Advanced Web Strategy minor course; Fall and Spring terms I teach a half-credit major course (major being the "real" courses here at NMH, with homework and tests and GPA relevance; these are the ones that colleges care about), a Social Science course called Media Literacy but the enrollment for that major course is still not high enough to justify a Winter term section as well, so I get a break in Winter to focus more on the Ed Tech part of my job.

It's a good life, and a good vocation. I never understood people who don't like or don't care about what they do all day, who work for money, who have jobs and responsibilities instead of vocations and roles. Why would you spend so much of your life miserable?

posted by boyhowdy | 12:00 PM | 0 comments


A Day In The Life: Breakfast; Brattleboro; Back



Mocha Joe's coffeeshop. Ginny works there.


Woke up at 7:45 on Sunday to find the baby's feet in my face; she had somehow managed to turn herself 90 degrees looking for Darcie, who had left at 7:00 to load kids on the a ski trip bus. Managed not to wake up completely, and so I was able to slip easily into sleep again when Darcie came in the door and back to bed a few minutes later. Ahh, sleep...I miss it so during the week.

Back up at 10:00 for a breakfast meeting at the the only real restaurant in Northfield, a small town which also has two small cafes, a bakery and a general store which makes deli sandwiches. Meeting was with a student who wanted me to write a college recommendation letter. I like the idea of getting off campus to have the pre-rec-letter-writing conference, because that way no one feels like they're supposed to be somewhere else. The pressure of "Oh, I'm at school and should be working" goes away when off campus; just ask the relaxed students in the general store in front of the laundromat: this is really why kids wash their clothes off campus instead of using the school laundry service.

Also, I figure, writing the recommendation letter is a big responsibility, what with the kids' college futures at stake, so it might as well come with a full buffet. The Big Kitchen Cafe was started about four years ago out of an old barn in the middle of a row of houses in town; in addition to the usual local-and-fresh bacon and sausage, eggs, and waffles, one can have potatoes with or without hefty chunks of smoked pork, deep fried french toast, apple enchiladas (a specialty of the house), and a dozen other sundry treats. Pastries and pie, four kinds of juice, coffee and hot chocolate: the interview lasted a while but was fully satisfying for all involved. And best of all, now I get a page of notes which, in sentence form, pretty much become the recommendation.

Home by noon, and, after a short call to Josh and Clay, who were expected to deliver my new car (my grandparent's old car) today but couldn't be reached, on the road again by 1:00. To Brattleboro, VT, 20 minutes north, where the holiday spirit of commercialism, flavored by the small-town quaintness of the primarily tourist-oriented but not touristy shops, was bringin' 'em in in droves. No street parking so I dropped Darcie and the baby off at Mocha Joes, the mellow coffeeshop where Darcie's sister Virginia works, and walked over from a nearby lot. Ginny was busy, but she made my usual free double latte with a vanilla shot and slipped it to me while Darcie breastfed in the corner.

The next few hours are a blur of shops, heaving the stroller up endless stairs and over infinite stoops, and this might be nice for your sister; do you know her shoe size?. Just like last year, the year before, and every other time Darcie and I have gone Christmas shopping, we bought ourselves and Willow a few small things, found a good present for my brother (not telling what it is; he might read this!) and for Darcie's Secret Santa thing at work (A Hamlet fingerpuppet set from The Unemployed Philosopher's Guild), and thought too much about what other people might like without buying anything. Thank G-d for amazon.com, but I might buy more at The Unemployed Philosopher's Guild website. I mean, they have freudian slippers. And check this out:





Finally encountered the elusive brother-in-law Josh and his long time girlfriend Clay at Darcie's parent's house, where despite my best intentions we inevitably end up staying for supper when visiting Brattleboro. Steak and mushrooms on the grill in the middle of winter really hits the spot, and hanging out at the in-laws is very relaxing, what with everyone sitting in the kitchen to get the full brunt of the soapstone stoves which heat the house in winter, but the baby got cranky and my alergies started acting up -- they have three long-hair cats and a big ol' Saint Bernard with a pedigree -- so it was time to get home.

Home meant Ginny coming over for the evening to help me preview South Park and Beavis and Butthead videos for the Mass Media class I'm teaching tomorrow (have I mentioned I love my job?), Josh and Clay stopping by to drop off the new car, and going for a spin in the powder blue couch on wheels. You could hide six bodies in the trunk, and the front seat feels like an armchair. I think I'm gonna like this car. I mean, look at it:




It's like driving a boat.

posted by boyhowdy | 1:00 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, December 08, 2002

Fire Switch, Light Switch, Red Switch, White Switch

Just got back from a quick 1:00 a.m. jaunt through the deserted streets of Northfield and back. Darcie needed to pick up the cell phone we send on school trips and charge it overnight, but she was breastfeeding and I'm more alert this late at night, so I took the keys and let myself into the darkened student center, scrims still hanging from tonight's techno dance. The office was pitch black, and I almost set off the fire alarm trying to find the light switch in the dark. From the standpoint of both electricians and panicking people in smoke-filled rooms, it seems natural to put the red alarm pull adjacent to the light switch -- it's easiest to remember where you saw it that way, and it's probably easier to do the wiring if the electrical "stuff" is all in one spot -- but it's very poor ergonomics if you consider the way one's hand flails towards the wall when first entering a darkened room. A couple of years ago, I remember the pre-teen daughter of some now-moved-on faculty accidentally pulled the fire alarm in the dark looking for a lightswitch in the basement of their dorm, and we all sat outside and studiously avoided looking at her in her mortification as the fire trucks pulled up to turn off the flashing lights and staccato blare.

Funny how the student center seems both bigger and spookier in the dark, suggesting that its intimacy is a function of the students who inhabit it, not the arrangement of the furniture and vending machines. The space used to be the Northfield campus gymnasium; the theatre downstairs gets its slope from the pool surface on which it was built, and although the locker-room smell is long gone, in the darkness the whole place still has the feel of an old-school gymnatorium. From the balcony, once the running track, where Student Programs has their office, the ground is too dark to see, and it is easy to imagine the distance from old rubber track underfoot to worn wood ballsurface far below as infinite.

In Other, Purely Technical News

The Blogger website seems to be stuck; it has showed the same ten "most recently published blogs" from 11:04 a.m. since...well, 11:04 a.m., I guess. Not sure what's going on at their servers, but ten lucky blogs have probably set new records for the number of hits in one day. Unfortunately for the monolinguistic, most are not in English.

Also, the comments on this page, driven by Enetation, haven't been working for a while; I had thought that this might be a problem with the Enetation servers, but now I wonder if the two problems could possibly be related?

Thirdly, I am proud to report that we are now officially in week four of the blog. Sure, objectively speaking, that's not very long, but for the ADHD brain doing anything regularly for a month is a triumph.

posted by boyhowdy | 1:48 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, December 07, 2002

Leftovers

I can barely make toast properly, but I had an hour or so while Darcie and the baby napped, and I had bought some boneless catfish fillets and some pre-cooked frozen shrimp at the grocery store, so I tried an experiment. Crumbled pecans, matzoh meal, salt and pepper, one drop onion juice and a whole mess of canola oil breaded around the shrimp and catfish and fried in about a half-inch of oil until the catfish looked done. It was quite delicious. I sat at the glass-top table in the dining room, in my dirty white apron in the noon glare of the sun off the snow, and ate it with a Pepsi, feeling smug.

I expected the apartment to smell like fish when I was done, because the fan over the stovetop went CLUNK and then began making a horrible grinding noise a few seconds after I turned it on (so I turned it off again in a hurry). But all I can smell is my fingers, which still smell like the onions I grated making latkes at last night's Channukah party.

posted by boyhowdy | 3:07 PM | 0 comments


Romancing the Blog

Found a fascinating blog by a social anthropologist at the University of Surrey who has been conducting research on "the culture of weblogging in London" since August 2001. He references all the right books and seems to know what he's talking about, although his recent entries are primarily shout-outs and thank-yous to the people he interviews.

Not much out there on the American side, which isn't surprising; social anthroplogy and, more specifically, the media studies subgenre thereof barely exists here in the states. The closest we come is what is often wrongly called media literacy but is really just a simple critical viewing curriculum, so narrow as to teach only "how TV brainwashes you and what to do about it." As if the concept of media ecology and the facts of cultural feedback in communications media were interesting but esoteric; as if most of our lives aren't driven by the ways we share and create knowledge; as if we weren't in a sea-change right now from writing and print to digital in which the very foundation of our values and assumptions has begun to shift. Bah.

Interesting factoid: to the best of my knowledge, the U.S. is the only English-speaking country which does not have a substantive media and communications curriculum as a required part of the high school curriculum.

posted by boyhowdy | 12:28 PM | 0 comments


And Early To Rise

Frequent readers (are you out there? can you hear this?) will note that I tend to blog late in the evening. This tendency to blog late comes merely from being up that late, which in turn is primarily due to a genetic tendency towards the nocturnal; growing up my father, my sister, my brother and I would lurk around the house in our own little bubbles of wind-down until 2 or 3, studiously avoiding each other as we gradually grew tired and, finally, slunk towards our rest.

Even today, in a community where all of us live and work in and around the typical 8-4 schedule of the school, no matter how early or late I force myself awake each morning, I can never get to sleep until 2:00 a.m. During the summer, I just sleep until noon the next day; during the school year, I end up down a couple of quarts by the end of each week, and so I pretty much depend on at least one weekend sleep-late day to catch up.

Thus, today's blog is anomalous if only because it is way too early on a Saturday yet...here I am anyway. Darcie's really sick, and the baby woke up covered in poop -- must have slipped a diaper catch comewhere in the middle of the night -- so although this was to be the only day in several weeks where I could sleep until after ten, I was up at eight giving the little one a sponge bath and a change of clothes for the day.

Yes, I know: Thank you for sharing.

posted by boyhowdy | 10:36 AM | 0 comments


The Dichotomies List

Zack's livejournal is linked from Molly's blog, but it doesn't hit home for either of us until tonight that it feels weird to know that we are reading / have read each other's blog/journal. The realization is that blogging is something unlike any other form of media previously extant, specifically in that it creates a totally new relationship between the self and the other, one simultaneously fictional or imaginary in its default perception and yet chillingly real in its public posture. In other words, we delude ourselves too easily into thinking that anonymity is effective, that those who know us will not after all recognize us when we sit at our screens and mask ourselves in the hum of the global village, that we are part of the invisible masses when we venture out into the digiverse. We exist in a pretend space, so we project a level of pretend-ness onto the people of that space, and forget the wetware behind the mask of the virtual persona.

This is true to some extent of much cyberspeak in its myriad forms, but the blog wouldn't be so shocking it there weren't something especially insidious, something unique in scope and specifics, about the tension between what blogging feels like...and what it can become. Intellectually, it seems intuitively obvious that if a random stranger can access and read your blog or livejournal, so can the next-door neighbor or friend or ex-girlfriend or even parent, assuming that they are online, or have a friend who might accidentally come across your brainspew and pass the word along. Psychologically, though, it is not obvious, but disquieting.

I think because Molly was the one who introduced me to blogging, I blog with the full knowledge that she might be reading, and all that might or might not entail does beg the question of whether I, too, am self-censoring. I gave the URL to some of my family at Thanksgiving, so I know they're there, too. [Hi, mom!] It is nevertheless odd to realize that Zack is probably reading the journal too; that the anonymous sites which show up on the counter stats might wear familiar faces when the lights go on. Here's the case I made to Zack.

There are some who would say that self-censorship either doesn't exist, or is a constant and necessary offshoot of not having diarrhea-mouth all the time. Selectivity -- deciding what to say, and when -- is, in this model, censorship.

But I agree that the notion that others who might actually be IN the journal are reading one's journal is...well, an interruption of the otherwise typical sense that the entire Internet exists in your own mind (c'mon, be honest -- you DID kind of think that, didn't you). And that it leads one to steer away from the more interesting and personal aspects of one's life, especially when it relates to other people who otherwise might-be-named. I don't know the best approach to handling this; some blogs/journals I've seen deal with it by using pseudonyms for everyone mentioned, while others just say to hell with it, and still others gradually drift away from the personal.


I don't know if the reaction we're sharing here is typical or even inevitable, or whether it is only true for some users, who might share some interesting sociological history or use a similar mental construct. But the fact that Zach and I are both emeshed in thinking about this now seems to suggest that it isn't such a rare phenomenon. I'm sure there's a more subtle and nuanced way to really understand this whole thing, and I'm interested in finding out what's going on here if only to satisfy my natural curiosity and maybe write a paper on it and go back to publishing scholarly articles every once in a while, like I did when I was in college and gradschool. But as a purely oversimplified way of starting to get at some of the ideas embedded in my thinking on this point:

(Probably False) Dichotomies On My Mind

  • Public vs. Private

  • Enjoying what is shared vs. Spying
  • Trying to be true to myself and wanting to be an open book about it vs. Having secrets and shames and wanting them to stay secret

  • Wanting to be jus' folks with everyone on a human level vs. The neccessity of social and professional roleplaying

  • Me from in here vs. Me through the eyes of others

  • Equity vs. Diversity (not really relevant, but nevertheless on my mind)

  • Surf vs. Turf (ditto)


posted by boyhowdy | 1:36 AM | 0 comments

Friday, December 06, 2002

Welcome to the Working Week(end)


Latkes, for the last night of Channukah

It's Friday, so you'd think the week's work would be done. But teaching at boarding school is like nothing else; "after school" in the evenings, on weekends, on state holidays like Labor Day and Columbus Day and MLK day, the kids are still here, so we're still technically working. Summer vacation for teachers is thus not a free gift, as some people think; it is a whole year's worth of missed weekends, evenings, and vacations granted consecutively. In no other job I know do you work 260 12-hour days straight (with one two-or-three-day weekend "off" every five weeks to write progress reports, and a one week "vacation," really a full-press grading period, at the end of each term), and then have 100 days off.

With both Darcie and I working here, out of the dorms and heavily involved in activities which naturally spill over into student social events and afterhourstype activities, we have a worst case scenario. The two of us are each expected to work a minimum of two weekends in ten, but we're involved in enough activities and club advisorships that we end up working about four in ten each instead, and since one of us needs to be home with the baby when the other is working, we can't double up on when we do our weekend responsibilities. Thus, we are left with one or two weekends a month as our only time off. And this weekend it's Darcie's turn to be on.

Darcie works for Student Programs, the group of folks (all female) here at NMH who coordinate all-school events, proms and dances, craft activities and holiday celebrations and concert trips and shopping expeditions and record swaps and whatever else students need in order to have complete lives outside of the dorm and classroom. Technically, she's the Program Coordinator, which means her primary responsibility (other than advising the yearbook and doing advising in the dorm) is planning and coordinating events; she's kind of like a combination cruise director, interior decorator, and party coordinator, and she's very good at what she does. This weekend she's on duty Saturday and Sunday, which means meeting busses as they leave and arrive for off-campus events, overseeing the faculty member who is doing ASA (Assisting Student Activities duty) at each event as it goes on, and generally being "the person in charge" at all events as they happen.

But tonight she had the night off, while I helped host the student Channukah latke party (my job was potato grating; it's not all fun and games here, you know), so she's at Ginny's dance concert with Willow. I hope the baby didn't decide to talk to the dancers on the stage like she did when we went to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding about six weeks ago. And I hope, too, that they get home soon. The Channukah party was lots of fun -- about 25 kids showed up, and we played dreidel for M&Ms, sang songs and said prayers, lit candles and broke bread, and generally had a grand old time -- but it just isn't Channukah without the wife and kid. I miss my family when they're gone.

posted by boyhowdy | 9:32 PM | 0 comments


Snow Was Falling, Snow On Snow

I went out into the treacherous universe this afternoon to run errands alone; Darcie and Willow were going to come, but it seemed intuitive that in bad weather the baby should stay home. I feel so...expendable. But in a good way, if that makes any sense.

From the insurance agency to the Registry of Motor Vehicles to the supermarket and home again took three hours, but mostly because I have a tendency to get bedazzled in the supermarket. Getting my grandparent's car registered in my name didn't seem weird until much later this evening. What's it going to feel like driving Grandpa's car? It's a couch on wheels, a '96 Mercury Grand Marquis with only 37,000 miles on it, powder blue inside and out, and I know I'm gonna love driving it, because if there's one major material thing I really value, it's a comfortable, roomy car.

But the memories might be difficult at first. The first time I ever drove that car was for their final move North to be closer to the family. We flew down late at night, slept for a few hours, had lunch with all four of my grandparents, and helped my grandmother pack up her house and move on to her "third stage of life," as she called it. This mostly meant helping her to decide what to leave and what to bring to their new efficiency apartment in a senior facility, and keeping her from giving me all of her personal belongings; Grandma was always one to move forward, not look back. That evening we left in their car to drive it up north, making it from Delray Beach, FL to Greenfield, MA in seventy hours with stops in Savannah, Charleston, Boston.

They never drove the car again. For the last two years it's been in my parent's driveway while my Grandfather's Parkinson's robs him of his driving privileges. Maybe three or four times during those years, Darcie and I came down and picked them up in it to take them out for a deli brunch, but no one else ever drove it but me.

Martha never drove, really, not even when my mom was a little girl; they lived in the city, and in the city you hardly needed a car unless you were going out of the city, on vacation or to visit relatives. She kept saying she would learn to drive, but somehow it never hit the top of the list, so the car was always Grandpa's. I remember every car he had, and I loved them all. They were always grandparentmobiles, slightly boxy wide loads with squared-off bumpers, which got only slightly more curved in the later models of their later Floridian years. When I was very little and they still lived in Brooklyn their cars smelled like them, like aftershave and hair tonic and perfume from Macy's and pipe smoke and cigarettes, before she quit and he stopped being able to hold a pipe.

For my entire life, in every car there was a small plastic turtle on the dashboard, one of the ones with a molded body and a head on a spring that bobbles around when the car moves. It was always there. Its name was Myrtle. I thought of it as a toy, and never thought to ask its real significance -- good luck charm? Reminder of the ocean? Inside joke? -- and now, really, I don't know if he'd have the strength to answer such a detailed question. One day, after my grandmother's stroke but before she died, I think, I took the last much-mutilated Myrtle, a plastic turtle whose head-on-a-spring would bob as the car turned corners, from the dashboard out in the sun in my parent's driveway, and put it in a jewlery box with some cotton in the armrest storage compartment of the Camry we drive now. It's melted and brittle from the glass-focused Florida sun, but this weekend it will go back on the dashboard where it belongs, I think.

posted by boyhowdy | 12:08 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, December 05, 2002

You Know You're a Blogger When...

I've been reading other people's blogs, hundreds of them, in the last few weeks, trying to get a sense of the norm for the form (hey, that rhymes!), because I see some real potential for the blog as a replacement for the journals that many teachers here at NMH require of their students...and because identifying new technological tools with potential for classroom use, helping teachers evaluate that potential in the context of their own classrooms and teaching, and helping them and their students learn how to use those tools if they believe them to be beneficial, is my job.

I haven't seen any blogs out there being used as classroom tools, although centainly a few are being used by teachers as a way to share ideas on and about teaching. But I think there's some real promise here. The public nature of the blog is useful in this instance, I suppose, although there is something valuable nonetheless about a journal which only your teacher will see. More specifically, though, the ability of e-texts to exist in multiple loci at a single moment is a great boon for teachers and students alike. With the blog, no longer do we have to take journals away from students, lug them home, and spend hours trying to decipher handwriting, while students struggle with keeping track of their own journals and remembering to write in them. The blog solves all these problems while simultaneously offering a fun and personalized way to journal. As an added bonus, students who learn to use blogs for a class are then prepared to use them for more personal reasons as well.

In my cybertravels, I've found some great blogs, and some great concepts. I've also found, though, that the blog-i-verse, as in the vast majority of self-published information in other forms on the web, is on average no smarter, no more interesting or creative, and no better than the wetware that uses it. Garbage in, garbage out.

Thus, as a show of strength and sympathy for the blog form and for blogging in general, I hereby offer a short list of things which I keep seeing in blogs which you will never, ever see in my own blog...or at least not for the next few weeks, or until I give up on the universe completely, or the aliens finally find me and lobotomize me:

1. This blog will not contain a cutandpaste chat which seemed funny at the time but for which, really, you had to be there.
(Corollary to item 1: If I do paste a chat in here, it will never, ever be longer than ten entries, and certainly will not go on for six or seven screens worth of blog length. Molly seems to have this right, unsurprisingly; when she uses the occasional chatpiece in her blog, it tends to be four or five lines long at most)

2. This blog will always be written in plain english, and ppl wl have 2 deal w/it.

3. This blog will never include an article or story written by someone else if that material already exists on the web somewhere else. This is a hypertext medium, folks; links are these neat things that allow the reader to decide for themselves whether they want to read a twelve page treatise on why solar power is the coolest thing or whether they want to continue reading your own thoughts.

4. This blog will not make the error of style over substance. If design were the most important element of the blog, then this would be an art form, not a literate form, and blogservers and blogservices would prioritize design issues rather than archiving, content organization, and other textual elements.

5. This blog will never contain a long series of entries which have no text but merely link to other things. This isn't a link form, it's a narrative form. If you want to publish a link list on a specific topic, publish a link list, or make a separate page linkable from your blog.

6. This blog will never, ever, EVER contain entries which are so self-referent that the blog becomes a treatise on blogging and blog issues...
...uh oh.

posted by boyhowdy | 8:47 PM | 0 comments


Off and On and In and Out


Home Sweet Home: Hayden House


I work at a boarding school - perhaps I've mentioned it about forty-eleven times - and I live in a small apartment at the end of the dorm. As part of my job, I am on duty once a week and two weekends in every ten. Duty basically involves being a visible, active adult presence in the lives of the 45 boys of our dormitory, Hayden House, in the evening, in loco parentis for the hours in which students come home for the evening, study for a few hours, and then prepare for bed.

Tonight was typical. At 7:00, I came downstairs and checked in with the House Director about a few kids. I spoke with the students about their lives and their last-term grades, read a book while they studied, scammed pizza off them when they came in with pizza. A freshman with pneumonia needed to be convinced that he was sick enough to go to the infirmary; a couple making out in the TV lounge needed to be asked to stop; several students with questions about the papers they were working on for World Religions: Mr. Farber, is there an "ism" word for people who believe in Science? Take check at 10:30, lock doors (from the outside) when they're all acounted for, write up the duty log for the evening, sweep the bathrooms and hallways, and come back to the apartment on the second floor by 11:00, and the job's done for another long day - classes begin in eight hours.

Duty responsibilities are considered three of the 19 "points" it takes to make a full trimester's contract, 57 points being a full-time year's workload for faculty here at NMH, and include both nights on and nights in. On nights are the true duty nights; in nights are nights when duty is performed by one of the more senior teachers who have served their time in the dorm and have earned a place in one of the typical New England houses which dot the outer landscape and the side roads or NMH where campus begins to abut either wilderness or the quiet residential clusters of rural homes and farms which comprise the majority of local life. When these folks leave the dorm to go home at 11 (midnight on Saturdays), the resident faculty, in rotation, are expected to stay in and take on the role of point person for late night emergencies or, more typically, student lockouts (Mr. Farber, can you let me in my room? I only went to take a shower...).

Nights not on or in are nights off, although when you live in the dorm, students with the initiative to find you at home do so no matter what your resident status for the evening is supposed to be. You can go out -- the school recommends that you go out at least once a week, just to be somewhere other than where you work and live for a couple of hours to retain your sanity -- but are generally expected to be home by eleven or so. Technically, overnights need to be approved by the House Director, but most HDs don't really worry about this; if the students can't find me, or if they have a drastic need (say, for example, they have accidentally set their roommate on fire and can't put him out again), they'll just go to the House Director anyway.

Dance on the Television

Ginny was there tonight when I got back to the apartment after my duty shift; she had to stay late at Greenfield Community College for a dress rehearsal for her dance company, and showed up prepared to crash. We're the logical choice for crashdom, as we live about a half an hour closer to Greenfield than her parent's house; Virginia still lives at home with Patty and Neil (my in-laws) after two short out-of-home experiences: One, a living-with-the-boyfriend scenario, ended when the relationship went sour; the other, a house share with a married friend, her husband, and her young son, seemed doomed from the start.

Darcie went to bed pretty quickly; she loses an hour or so in the middle of the night because of diapers and breastfeeding (I'd help, but I'm not lactating, so there's not much I can do) and I only sleep 5 hours a night so I tend to stay up much later. Ginny and I are flipping the channels, and we keep seeing this really cheesy combination of line dancing and tap dancing flash by on the screen, and Ginny realizes that the Greenfield public access channel is showing last year's dance concert. I sat next to Ginny and watched her on the TV, which was a bit eerie.

posted by boyhowdy | 12:51 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Ooohhhh....Shiny.

I want this. I'd settle for this. But I'm busy and lazy and poor, so I'll probably stick with this*, at least until Christmas break.

Tomorrow I teach 2 sections of 9th grade algebra/physics how to use this for their math journals this term. Wish me luck.

*warning: recursive link.

posted by boyhowdy | 2:40 PM | 0 comments

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

On a More Mundane Note

I have added a quotes section. Now all I need are some quotes that aren't stupid. Submissions welcome.

posted by boyhowdy | 11:26 PM | 0 comments


Back in the Saddle Again

The title suggests, I think, that this entry is about work. And it should be. As a journal of days and events, the blog begs mention of the first day back full-time at work after months of leave, a day of gradual acceleration into the usual frenetic pace of my vocation, a pace I hadn't felt since last June, before summer vacation, before a Fall term with a 2/3 contract and a 1/3 leave, an exhausting happy time.

Had I tried to write this from work, perhaps the truth would, after all, be in the details.

But I came home tired, and she was already asleep; I can't turn on the lights to watch her sleep without waking her. And I thought today was the first day since the birth of my daughter that I spent less than an hour in her presence; today was the day that things might never be as good as they have been.

And so for a while, I stared at the idiot box, exhausted. Something was on TV. I microwaved something from a takeout container and I ate it standing up. I wandered a stranger in my own home. I was angry, frustrated, jealous: at myself, for having a job that I love and won't give up that takes me away from my daughter; at the institution, which knowingly overworks us but makes excuses for it rather than doing something about it; at my daughter, who needed to sleep when I finally had time for her; at my wife, who got to spend time with the baby while I sat reading the comics in an empty room just because a student or teacher might come in and need my help.

Look, dear reader, dear self, whomever the blog reaches, whomever cares. I'm sorry for the mess. I feel like I have lost my eloquence, and while emotion without eloquence may be okay for some blogs, it just doesn't feel like me.

Postscript: Love Conquers All

I was writing the above words, and about to hit the "Post & Publish" button. Darcie came and took me by the hand, and pulled me out of my chair. She gently led me to our bed, and nudged me to lie down in the dark, next to Willow. There, I watched my child until my eyes began to adjust to the darkness, until her lips and cheeks and chin became distinct parts of her. I accepted her, and my position in her life, what I had to do and what I want to do, and how those might not be the same thing sometimes. I cried on her, and let her sleep. I tried to let go of all my selfishness and need, to remember that Willow's life isn't for me but for her, to be grateful for the time I have with her, and promised myself to keep working, but to keep missing her all the time and working hard to be with her when I can, anything and everything I can do and more, so she could have everything she needs, so that she can grow into the fulfillment of her secret heart.

And then I turned to my wife, and was about to thank her for bringing me to that better place, and for seeing my need. And you know, before I had a chance to say a thing, she thanked me for going to work every day, for making it possible for her to have time with her child at home during the day, for coming home eager to share my time with them, for missing them when I must be away. For my shortcomings and my guilt, for breaking down and being sorry and missing them, for my anger. For what I want to be, and what I am willing to sacrifice for all of us. For my tears.

Look, sometimes love is a mess. Sometimes I have hurt people I loved, hurt them bad, hurt them maliciously or unawares. And sometimes, many times, I have been hurt myself.

But although I am more than anything else a bumbling fool, when I am with the woman I love I am a miracle. For although my shell remains the goofball of the bathroom mirror my reflection in her eyes shows me the fulfilment of all the promise I have in me. If you ever find a partner like mine, who loves you for who you can be and can make you be that you; who knows your needs when you cannot, and can lead you to your own resolutions gently, lovingly, with care and confidence...then never ever do them wrong, and keep them forever in your heart, for you have found an angel. And although it is presumptuous to think that you can tame or keep an angel, remember that as long as your angel loves you, you will have the love of an angel...and that is sustenance enough for even the most broken and selfish of us.

I guess I'll go back to work tomorrow after all. But this time, I'll bring pictures off my girls -- both of them, wife and daughter.

My cup runneth over.

posted by boyhowdy | 10:48 PM | 0 comments


Because it Stopped Snowing

This week's Poem of the Week was the last poem I posted on Watermelon Pickle Poems before Marlboro College changed servers on me and I lost my FTP access.

It's about a year old. Happy Birthday, poem.

I was thinking about it because of the snow.



How winter come on

One day not so long ago
The atoms of the air
Bloomed like fractal flowers suspended
In front of our faces

And there
Within our soft wet grasp
Came winter: Morning frost on cars
Capillary and glinting

And all of us stood
In doorways full of breath
Talking about how winter come on
Sudden this year.


posted by boyhowdy | 1:30 AM | 0 comments


Tonight on Tributary

It started snowing as I left the house for the radio station tonight at nine thirty, just a light sprinkle, dry hexagonal flakes visible in the glow of the antique streetlight as I stepped out to the car. By the time I emerged, after midnight, the roads were scrunchy with pristine powder. I had to dig out the scraper to see my way home.

Driving tomorrow will be fun, and sure to happen; in my five years here at NMH, we've had two snow days and one ice day, the latter only after one of the women in the school snack bar fell and broke her hip. When you and your students live where you teach, it takes a full-court-press of a blizzard to cancel school.

Anyway. The radio show felt a bit dull tonight. My co-host (also a good friend and, incidentally, my sister-in-law) called in overworked at the last minute. Nora, a student who calls every week, was the only caller. She called to thank me for playing Dar Williams and Norah Jones. Well, at least someone was listening.

Tonight's playlist follows. I was in the mood for cover songs for the first hour or so; all covers have asterisks after 'em.

Bob Dorough -- Too Much Coffee Man (Tributary theme song)
Nirvana -- The Man Who Sold The World*
Tony Furtado Band -- I Ain't Got No Home*
Dr. John -- Deal*
Greg Brown -- Pledging My Time*
Lucy Kaplansky -- Small Dark Movie*
Bluegrass Sessions -- Rift*
Soggy Bottom Boys -- I am a Man of Constant Sorrow*
The Be Good Tanyas -- Rain and Snow*
The Del McCoury Band -- Rain and Snow*
Jack Johnson w/ DJ Logic -- Rodeo Clowns
Kasey Chambers -- I Still Pray
Norah Jones -- Come Away With Me
Dar Williams -- Family*
Dave Carter & Tracy Grammar -- Gentle Arms of Eden
Sarah Harmer -- Open Window
David Massengil -- Perfect Love
Timbuk 3 -- The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades (Acoustic Version)
Robbie Fulks -- Never Could
Suzanne Vega -- The Queen and the Soldier
Patty Griffin -- Long Ride Home
Alison Krauss -- Forget About It
Shawn Colvin -- The Story
String Cheese Incident -- Up the Canyon
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones -- Sunset Road
Phish -- All Things Reconsidered


Bonus points to anyone who can identify who performed or wrote the original versions of at least six of the nine covers in the above playlist.

posted by boyhowdy | 1:01 AM | 0 comments

Monday, December 02, 2002

Hey, Mr. D.J.

I'm off in a few minutes to DJ for Tributary, my weekly radio show on the school radio station, where I play contemporary folk, bluegrass, jambands and alt-pop, read so-local-it-hurts Public Service Announcements for this weekend's back to school dance or crafts activity, and babble incessantly about the usual DJ trivia. This is no dinky high school station, though. According to the FCC, we have the most powerful high school radio station in the country, which in these rural parts means you're listening to WNMH 91.5 fm, serving Northfield, Gill, Keene and Brattleboro ...

Since radio listeners can't be easily tracked, it seems a safe assumption that the students of NMH are, if not our sole listeners, the only ones who really care. I know that some of them actually listen to my show, 'cause they ask me about it when I see them in the halls on Tuesday mornings: Hey, Mr. Farber, was that you I heard on the radio last night? Awesome songs, man. Some even call in to request The String Cheese Incident or Richard Thompson; some call just to let me know that When I Fall is their favorite Barenaked Ladies song and thanks for playing it, you made my night. I've never had a call from outside the school, though. And never from another faculty member. They must all go to sleep much earlier than I do.

I also read bedtime stories on the air, on the half hour and on the hour. -- sometimes poems, more often true bedtime classics, from Curious George to Goodnight Moon. In the tiny world in my head, I imagine that being old enough to have grown to love Dr. Seuss for a second time unifies us without making me that creepy teacher who still thinks he's just hangin' out.

I'll post the playlist when I get back if I'm not too tired.

posted by boyhowdy | 8:40 PM | 0 comments
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