Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A compendium of stuff that has stopped me in my tracks lately

Today it actually feels like summer and I just finished reading Happy Baby by Stephen Elliot - am now waiting for this to arrive. My bender continues. Though I admit I bought from the evil amazon - I was impatient - I want to read them before I take a class from him. But this post is not about that.

There's a bunch of stuff I've been coming across - weird stuff sometimes - or stuff my husband sends me links to - and I've been wanting to post it, but I've just been in a strange place writing-wise. Including blog post writing. So I haven't. Posted anything that is.

But now I'm going to. Just because I'm killing time before baking a cake. So here are some things that weedled their way into my brain.

The Gender Genie. Using an algorithm, it takes a sample of your writing (fiction, non-f, or blog post) and determines the author's gender. Supposedly works best with samples over 500 words. I tested a lot of stuff. I'm mainly female, but often male. I'm happy with that.

Manhood for Amateurs: The Wilderness of Childhood: Though the "manhood" part kinda pissed me off, this essay by Michael Chabon in The New York Review of Books is pretty good. When we moved to the east coast not quite seventeen years ago we wondered where all the kids were. Yes, it was snowy and cold, but I was soon told by a neighbor that folks didn't let their kids wander. There were prearranged "play dates" that required the use of cars and telephones and scheduling. And to think I'd let my oldest daughter (in 1st-3rd grades) walk home from the bus stop a half mile down a dirt road where we knew there were wild animals like bears wandering at times. Here the buses pick the kids up and drop them off at the end of the driveway. Michael Chabon wonders about literature though - all the great adventure stories - and how if kids grow up without adventure what that means for the future of adventure literature. It was a very thought provoking read.

The Poetry Brothel. The other day Jeremy Edwards mentioned Black Heart Magazine in one of his posts, so when I went to check it out, this article about The Poetry Brothel jumped out at me and grabbed me by my little poetry heart (and other body parts) and I spent an inordinate amount of time reading all the "Meet the Whore" entries and about their finishing school for poetry whores, and well, I went off on a little fantasy.

And more for you poetry geeks - This!

For those of you with eyesight issues - Eyebobs - reading glasses with names like Adult Supervision, Bottoms Up, Checkered Past, Huge Hefner, Knockers, Too Naughty, Topless, and Unzipped.

In the some people are hopeless category we have the Delray Beach Florida Nude Sculpture Controversy.

In the I'm still shaking my head category we have the Air Sex Championships. Yeah, I'd heard about these, but still... I have to agree with a commenter "why not just have real sex?"

And for you foodies - Earthy Delights.

Okay. It feels good to get that off my chest.


Emerald said...

Wow, I found the nude sculpture article very interesting. One of the protesting parents said,

"'There is no reason to bring it up with them,' said Finkelstein. 'I just want them moved.'"

Maybe he will see the opportunity there to examine the attitude in him that drives that. I wonder, if he were to go back and read the statement, if that may move in him somewhere. It seems so indicative to me somehow.

Speaking of, I found the comment by the shop owner where the sculpture is currently displayed beautiful:

"'What you place your attention on is what is important,' said Rick Caster. 'If you celebrate the meaning behind this work of art and use it as a teachable moment, that is the lesson a child will take. . . .'"

Thank you for sharing Robin!

Sophia Valenti said...

Thanks for the interesting links, Robin.

But you skipped the best part! What kind of cake are you making?

Erobintica said...

Haha - a chocolate cake Sophia - tis my son's 16th birthday tomorrow.

Emerald - one would hope for teaching moments, but somehow I think that anyone that would complain about that sculpture has way too many issues to take advantage of said moment.

Sophia Valenti said...

Happy birthday to him! Hope you guys have a great day!

Anonymous said...

Your links were wonderful to explore. Michael Chabon's article was particularly interesting to me. For the last several weeks, I've been going to doctor's appointments and therapy at a hospital in my childhood neighborhood in the city. This week, my son has been driving me, and I've been talking non-stop about what I see and what I remember as he drives me past long-forgotten landmarks. I've been pointing out where I went to school (even though it's not a school anymore), and the streets that I lived on (even though the buildings and houses are long gone). As a young child, like Chabon, I was free to roam about with abandon, with other kids or by myself, always knowing my boundaries, which were huge portions of the City of Hartford. I don't ever remember feeling afraid of anyone who crossed my path. In the summer, we had to be home when the streetlights came on. That was the only rule.

I'm happy to say, in my current suburban neighborhood, there are a parcel of middle-school boys who tear through the subdivision with abandon on their bikes, stopping to muck around in the muddy stream in the woods next to my house, then suddenly, burst into warrior cries as they take off again, en masse, cycling madly down the middle of the street to somewhere else--sometimes, toward the gaggle of middle-school girls who sometimes walk slowly down the same street.

I can't hear the boys' shouts anymore because of this ear virus I have, but I see them, having the time of their lives, and they don't even realize it.

And the poetry link! How exciting to be back in the classroom again! I've bookmarked it so when my hearing improves, I can go back to school for free. Thanks, Robin!


Scarlett Greyson said...

I wish I had such links to show for my lack of blog posting!

I'm posting more on your next post, but wanted to say thank you for some interesting sites to visit :)