Week in review – I have a teenager edition

This post marks an effort on my part to record what all I’m doing. For the longest time I kept an agenda with random notes in it about the day. That’s no longer happening. So … I don’t know. Maybe blog writing can fill the gap.

J 2014Life:

My son turned 13 today, so I am officially the parent of a teenager. What’s great is that we sit around and watch “Friday Night Lights” together and comment on everyone’s morality and future. He is still a giddy, coltish creature who brings light wherever he goes. We may have difficult years ahead, but for now I feel I have more to learn from him rather than the other way round.

Reading: Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

One of my favorite reads this year. The chapter entitled “Cave Paintings,” a great lesson in using setting, interior thought, body language, objective correlative, etc. to create an emotional moment. When I was writing my book I went through a hellacious last draft scab-picking hundreds of editorial comments that went like this: “Can you add body language? Gesture?” (No, because I suck at that stuff.) Jess Walter makes it look exceedingly easy. I’m in awe of this book, which is at once light, gorgeous, true and serious as death.

Listening: EMA

I feel like my musical tastes can be summed up thus: raunchy boy rappers and smart women rockers. EMA takes place with Savages as favorite female discoveries of the last year. Somehow I spotify-stumbled onto EMA’s “Past Life of Martyred Saints” from 2011. Loved “California.” And now with “Future’s Void,” I feel like shouting about how amazing she is. Today I listened to “So Blonde” at least five times. Seriously. I am sitting on my hands so I don’t ruin everything by listening to it again.


What I have open now, besides email and Twitter:

  • Gateways to the Classical World – article from Sunday New York Times on apps like lexicons and maps. Catnip to a former Classics major like me.
  • “Helping” – a flash fiction piece by R.O. Kwon at Tin House’s Open Bar
  • How to tell if you’re inflamed – Mark Sisson’s web site where I occasionally go for Crossfit and paleo inspiration. Am I inflamed? More than anyone will ever know. A longer post about health is in order, but guys, I am basically staring down the barrel of a life of seaweed, bone broths, and cold-water fatty fish right now.
  • “P.E.” – an amazing short story by Victor Lodato in the New Yorker. Set in Tucson, baby!
  • Medium – Ok, everyone’s doing it. Should I blog here, too? Can the Internet even handle my frequency of 3 to 4 blog posts a year?
  • Andrew Smith’s blog (intriguingly titled Ghost Medicine) – Because I don’t know. Grasshopper Jungle or something someone said on Twitter.
  • 28 must-follow Tumblrs for fans of YA – a great list from BookRiot. But watch me go back to my dismal Tumblr life of not looking at what anyone else does and only posting the occasional song that gets me through my day.
  • A map to Paintball Jungle – We did paintball for my son’s birthday. And omg, this is one crazy scene.

Ok, signing off now. There’s more, of course, but it’s a little dark and gripey. I will leave you with the cheerful sounds of air compressors refilling and little paintball pellets exploding their orange goo everywhere, while the morose ice cream man drives his truck up and down the dirt road hoping for business from camouflaged warriors. I bought a pack of chili picante CornNuts from him on the edge of an open, abandoned field.