1. AOTW: No one "stood out" this week (the usual Traffic Clowns, etc.), so I'll just comment about a recent conversation I heard (in a coffee shop) between a couple of middle-aged guys (40ish, 50ish?) who were talking about football games. Their conversation was full of youthful locutions like Dude, I'm like ... and Yo ... I don't want to be harsh, but what does it mean when adults talk like kids?
Oh, and here's another coffee-shop conversation I overheard this week--the sort of thing I've never in my life heard: two middle-aged guys (or older) talking--at length--about their hair!
2. Joyce and I started (last night) watching (via Netflix DVD) the Masterpiece Mystery series called Grantchester. (Link to a promo for the series.) Kind of liked the first episode (though formulaic, of course--and everyone was blindingly white; to be fair, it set in the post-WW II English countryside). We liked the lead actor (who's rather attractive, if I do say so ... I'm like, yo, dude, ...). Will try a few more ...
3. Re: the kid who made the bomb that turned out to be a clock. I'm not intimate with all the details of this case (I don't know who screwed up where, who handled things poorly--and why), but as a former teacher I know this: Can you take a chance in a world like ours?
4. Joyce and I finished the wrenching five-part HBO documentary by Spike Lee, When the Levees broke. It was so disturbing that we often stopped it and switched over to some frothy (and/or filthy) comedian for a while. I'd known, of course, that Hurricane Katrina was "bad," and we've also been watching David Simon's series (also HBO, about post-Katrina New Orleans) Treme. But the dimensions of human loss and suffering were just staggering. It's one of those films that I am glad I saw, one that I highly recommend, one that I never want to see again.
5. I've been a fan of the Chicago private -eye novels by Michael Harvey (link to his website); I'm almost finished with his newest one--The Governor's Wife--and am enjoying it a lot. I forget how I "got onto him" and his work--but I'm glad I did. I've read them all. This one is about an Illinois governor about to head off to prison (where a number of governors have gone), and somehow--in the court house--vanishes. P.I. Michael Kelley is now on the case--and closing in ...
6. I had lunch earlier this week with our son, Steve, and Andy Paul, his good friend from middle and high school. I taught both of them in 8th grade, directed them in seven middle-school play productions, saw them in their high-school productions, as well. (A special thrill: seeing Andy as Petruchio and Steve as Lucentio in a production of The Taming of the Shrew, a play they'd read with me in 8th grade!) Andy went off to Stanford, Steve to Tufts, so they drifted apart over the years. Andy now runs a small, thriving business in Sacramento (Andy's Candy (link to his website)--how he stays slim is beyond me), and Steve lives in nearby Green, where he teaches part-time at the Univ. of Akron (writing classes) and works as the Education Policy Fellow for Innovation Ohio in Columbus (link to website), a job that enables him to work from home (sometimes) and spend lots of time with his two boys, Logan (10) and Carson (6) and with his busy wife, Melissa, who is an award-winning teacher in Kent State's School of Nursing.
Anyway, we had a wonderful lunch (with Andy, his wife, their two very patient little girls, 11 and 8), and the young (!) men were surprised when I told them that they--now age 43--are a year older than I was when I taught them in 8th grade back in 1985-86.
Andy took a pile of VHS tapes from Steve and me, tapes of old play productions from middle school; he's going to convert them to digital ... Not sure I want to see them. I prefer remembering all of them as awesome and do not want any disconfirming evidence!
|Left to Right: Steve, Andy, Some Old Guy|