Friday, June 08, 2007


Lots going on in the days and weeks before driving cross-country and the launch of the 20th issue of Let's get up to date, shall we?

- Tonight I'm going bowling with some creative nonfiction MFA types. I have not bowled in many moons, but back then I wasn't actually too bad. Mind you, I don't have my own bowling ball or leather wrist brace.

- The next issue of features a great mix---or a "rich mix" as I'm fond of saying---of contributions, like poetry from bloggers Matthew Thorburn and Justin Evans and other poets including Lyn Lifshin; articles and essays on such varied subjects as the sustainability of walled cities (Siena, specifically) in Tuscany, and small-scale loans, Bollywood (narrative online slideshow), the sustainability of cities in Nepal vis-a-vis sacred poetry, community-based redevelopment in Denver, public art in Austin, and music, family friends, and the loss of a father; a really great interview with ecologist, author, and cancer survivor Sandra Steingraber; and Greenville, North Carolina's Southside development as the UnSprawl case study. The theme is "Community Sustained," and the issue will launch at on July 10.

- Tomorrow we're off to the Phoenix IKEA, where I honor the functional household capabilities of my Swedish ancestors, to purchase a new bed for our older daughter, plus some shelves and other domesticables. Anyone need anything?

- I've taken on the job of columnist for our little community newspaper, The Town Crier, and have an article due in the next week. I think I'll write about the need for a permanent taco stand in Civano, plus of course the long-promised neighborhood brewpub to go with it.

- I'm about 110 pages into Queen Bees & Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends & Other Realities of Adolescence, the NY Times bestseller by Rosalind Wiseman, and I would be untruthful if I didn't say it's making me pretty anxious. Let me just say that you girls out there are rough---glad that as a boy I didn't have too much of that. But there's some good advice and tactics in the book, too, so at least I feel a bit more prepared as a father.

- We head out for my family reunion in Washington, D.C., driving from Tucson, and I'm pretty excited to get back to the city where I worked when employed by the U.S. Department of Energy, but haven't returned to since 1994 (not sure if that's a proper sentence, but what the heck). Lots on the list to see; though Billie and I lived in the area for a year (Germantown, Maryland), we didn't see as much as we would have liked. I'm sure we'll say that upon our return, too, but at least the list will be shorter.

- My sister is helping me set up a poetry reading at Bodhi Tree Bookstore in West Hollywood, California, probably this fall if they accept the proposal. Anyone familiar with it? Thoughts?

- As convoluted and quirky as it was, I for one very much enjoyed Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Just for the record.


Suzanne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Suzanne said...

Jane Kenyon had a similiar column in her small town paper. Congrats!

I've also been reading books on raising daughters -- it IS scary isn't it? The best advice I've read so far is to make sure your daughter is involved in regular extracurricular activities that are not related to the school she attends -- that way she'll have another social circle available. I'll have to pick up the one you mentioned.

Simmons B. Buntin said...

That's really good advice, too. Haven't seen that in this book yet, but I'm just over 1/3 of the way through it.

shann said...

Have fun! DC is just up the road from me, will you do any readings there??

My daughter is 19 and wonderful- she's moving out July 1st into a great apartment near Virginia Commonwealth University and working all summer (her 4th year, 2nd full time and a big raise this year) with the City of Richmond Parks and recreation dept where she mostly makes costumes and does other things for the summer outdoor theater productions-

she has turned out GREAT (so far!) - my best advice is keep talking and be prepared to deal with whatever she tells you, and of course, love her, love her, love her- even when she doesn't want you to.

jd said...

I have found boys to be easier to raise every step of the way. I will have to pick up that book.

Enjoy IKEA. I had the privilege of showing up at the Phoenix IKEA during their grand opening weekend several years ago. I don't recommend it. I have never seen so many cars in a store parking lot before.

Your DC road trip sounds fun. Have a great trip.

Poetry said...

I woke her to take the moon.

Her campaign was swift and terrible.

Metallic and fierce.

Glaring up in the twilight.

But the moon was both implacable and unreachable

and in the end the war against the moon failed.

As dawn rose slowly from her bed, the moon slipped away.

But in the end, all that was lost,

was a little sleep....

Simmons B. Buntin said...

Thanks All.

Shann, I didn't get around to scheduling anything in D.C.---I'll just be doing the family thing, though will be spending a half-day roaming around a New Urbanist development or two with camera in hand. Perhaps Kentlands in Gaithersburg.

J.D., yes, Ikea is crazy, and for the second time, something was wrong on a major furniture purchase (the first time, the loft post was drilled at the wrong angle--very odd; this time, the screw wouldn't go in properly on a daybed, causing the bolt to strip; but this time I was able to cut the bolt down and fix it myself; last time, I had to go all the way back to Phoenix to exchange the post.) Anyway, I think quality control at the manufacturer isn't great for most of their products, unfortunately. But they do have a great selection of stuff!