Sunday, January 28, 2007

Catering to toddlers

I’m still alive, tho last week came close to killing me. (NB: If you send in a manuscript with either calculus equations or Greek quotations, they will, oh yes they will, get chewed up somewhere along the way.) The jobsearch madness winds down this week. We (J & I, that is) are as it were still between tumults. The girls share the same birthday (2 years apart – don’t even ask…), which falls in the midst of next week. So in lieu of one vast rampage of preschoolers, we’re having separate birthday parties – one yesterday, and one this coming weekend. These things tend to run to excess down here: the last one we attended had a clown blowing up balloons, a face-painter, a bounce house (one of those inflatable contraptions in to which small children can climb and jostle themselves silly), and a guy from an animal shelter offering pythons and tarantulas for the kids to pet. I think the party itself was catered; the open bar was certainly nice. (All this, mind you, for a fifth birthday – I believe bat mitzvahs down here tend to require a second mortgage.) Since we’re modest folks, Pippa’s celebration will be considerably more restrained.
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Aside from rereading (& wincing at) my own prose, I’ve been working my way thru Beckett’s trilogy with much wonder, & getting my toes wet in Neal Stephenson’s Crytonomicon. Our job candidates have reminded me of a long-deferred project that might actually happen this year – reading my way thru Virginia Woolf’s novels. Poetry titles that have caught my attention include Kate Greenstreet’s case sensitive and Paul Naylor’s Arranging Nature. I’ll try to give them a little close attention when I’m a little more blog-motivated. And a big shout out to Paul, who’s welcoming aboard the new arrival Siena Kilb Naylor. Congratulations! Welcome to the world of catered birthday parties!
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An embarrassing proportion of the traffic this humble blog’s gotten in the past couple of months has happened because of some kind soul’s linking my little screed on Fernando Botero’s Abu Ghraib pictures to the Wikipedia Botero entry. Heaven knows how many Boterophiles out there are sharpening their knives for me. Indeed, I’ve even gotten some communications from a BBC team working on a documentary on the man – something about wanting a “dissenting voice” on Botero’s wonderfulness: I didn’t have the heart to say Hey, walk into any art history department, or ask your nearest art critic. (Anybody, that is, but Arthur Danto…)

4 comments:

Josh_Hanson said...

Your birthday is in April?

Beckett's Trilogy=wonder

Are you familiar with Christopher Ricks' Beckett's Dying Words? Also wonderful.

Mark Scroggins said...

Tho I suppose I shd have been born 1 April, it's actually in October. Moody Libra.

I read Ricks a few years ago; remember it -- like everything else Ricks writes -- as being consistently effervescent in prose, lively; but can't remember a damned thing about its argument, apart from Ricks's relish in being able to tell as many Irish jokes ("bulls") as he could.

Paul Naylor said...

Catered birthday parties? I'm still trying to figure out how to compensate for my inability to lactate . . .

Thanks for the congrats, Mark.

Paul

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