Sunday, July 08, 2007

Almost Random Notes, Part 14

Just now--two goldfinches flying aerobatics around and around the cedar trees!

You know the drill:

1. It must be hell to be the child of a poet. It finally dawned on me why our two sons (ages 3 and 5) kept asking me to throw rocks at them so that they could hit them (um, so the boys could hit the rocks) with an old stick. So I went out yesterday and bought gloves and Tigers' hats and bats and balls (whiffle balls, of course; they're far too young to risk bonking them with the real thing) and we've been playing backyard baseball ever since. Last night, we played whiffle-ball catch in the living room (with dramatic, bounce-off-the-sofa slow-mo replays) and watched 12-innings of the Detroit-Boston game. We finally went to bed with the game still tied, 2-2.

I am pleased to report that Pudge Rodriguez drove in the winning run in the 13th.

The Tigers go for the sweep this afternoon at 1:05.

2. I should say something rhapsodic about the weather. All through June we had days in the 70's, with nights clear and cool for sleeping. Today promises to be our first truly hot and humid day (mid-90's) but every Michigan summer needs a few of those to really warm up the lakes. I can tell it is the high tourist season by the number of Illinois license plates in town attached to shiny, improbably expensive cars.

How many rich people are there in Chicago?

3. In my continuing response to the so-called serious book critics who argue so vociferously against bloggers (when their actual argument is with the editors and publishers of America's newspapers) I note the following:

a. The "Book Page" of the Grand Rapids Press this morning consists of (i) an article asking the obligatory "In the series finale, Will Harry Potter die?" question, (ii) a review of a childrens' book about a German Shepherd wonder-dog, and (iii) a review of a series of picture books about "crazy stones" and "crazy shells."

Here's a sample paragraph from that last one:

"As a reviewer and and educator, I [the reviewer] am crazy about them [the 'Crazy' books], too. The ideas and the art are so different. The small design format, illustrated with charming three-dimensional doll characters paired with simple objects, and a sparse text that tells a story make these books a satisfying reading experience. They inspire readers to ponder ideas, where the natural simplicity of a stone or a shell becomes interesting."

b. Even the New York Times (after a week in which terrorist struck in Great Britain and George Bush commuted Scooter's jail term for felony perjury), features no fewer than four opinion pieces and one cartoon--or whatever it is--about Mr. Potter on this morning's Op-Ed page.

Give me Bookslut.com or Edward Byrne's "One Poet's Notes" any day of the week.

4. Today is the promised Post-"June Poetry Surge" Rib Fest. This should be fun.

4 Comments:

Blogger Suzanne said...

Baseball is all the rage over here too -- we took the kids to family day for a semi-pro game last weekend -- it was a big hit (hardeeharhar) and spent this weekend playing ball in the back yard. I love summer.

1:32 PM  
Blogger Talia said...

I know what you mean about the Illinois plates. Everywhere I go--Wisconsin, Ohio, Missouri--there is the Illinois plate in front of me. I live in a lake town and many, many of the houses here are owned by Illinois folks--2nd homes.

9:40 PM  
Blogger greg rappleye said...

Suzanne:

My problem now is convincing the 5 year- old that it really isn't that much fun for Dad to play baseball in full-sun, 90 degree heat. For some reason, our 3 year-old is much more reasonable about this.

Talia:

Yes, and always on a nice car.

6:00 AM  
Blogger Macy Swain said...

I totally agree with your arguments and despair about book pages. I'm in L.A. for the summer and find the Sunday L.A. Times increasingly vapid and malnourished. The once lively book review section is now in the same measly tabloid as the Opinion section, and you have to turn the thing upside down to read each section. Here it is, two days later and I can't remember a single review I read. A related issue: I realize I'm not sending stuff out any more. All I do now is blog. I suspect I have as many readers now as if my work was in a literary magazine, and I get to get it out on my own terms. I was startled to realize this in the last day or two -- it's been ages since I've sent out anything the old way. The idea of sending stuff out just seems wearisome: months go by waiting to hear anything; I've spent hundreds of dollars on reading fees. I suppose I should feel guilty, and I do, a little. I suspect I'm sacrificing any chance for wider renown, if such is to be had. Still...it's kind of like (yes, I'm well aware of the parallel) finding out that masturbation isn't necessarily bad for you. I'm curious if others are in the same boat. Hey, maybe I'll get on my own blog and try to find out.

7:27 PM  

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