Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My wit, condensed to 140 characters

The inevitable finally happened: I joined Twitter. I resisted for a long time. I couldn't convince myself of the usefulness/purpose. Was worried I'd feel self-indulgent. Concerned no one would follow me.

These fears have not entirely been put to rest, but I have to say, after a few days, it is more enjoyable and addictive than I thought it would be. Is this the beginning of the end of my productivity?

The 140-character thing is genius. It's like a game/puzzle, to reduce whatever joke/self-promotion/breaking news/gossip into a handful of words and symbols. As a writer who values concision and a poet who likes formal constraints, I dig this aspect. I also like all the lingo: hashtags, handles, feeds. Twitvernacular, if you will.

My Twitter empire is in its infant phase, as I have less than 20 followers. To be exact, I have 16. 13 of the 16 are folks I know. The other three, I have no idea who they are. Which is kind of cool. Could you be lucky #17?

I can't promise any revolutionary content, but I think I have Twitter potential. And I promise not to just post pictures of Maude sleeping.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

So You Think You Don't Like Poetry

Summer is winding down as we head deeper into August, the Sunday of months (in my opinion). Like Sundays, August inspires lethargy and sometimes dread at the thought of being productive again come Monday/September. I, for one, am eager for fall, my favorite season. I'm ready to say sayonara to summer.

Late Summer
by Jennifer Grotz
Before the moths have even appeared
to orbit around them, the streetlamps come on,
a long row of them glowing uselessly
along the ring of garden that circles the city center,
where your steps count down the dulling of daylight.
At your feet, a bee crawls in small circles like a toy unwinding.
Summer specializes in time, slows it down almost to dream.
And the noisy day goes so quiet you can hear
the bedraggled man who visits each trash receptacle
mutter in disbelief: Everything in the world is being thrown away!
Summer lingers, but it’s about ending. It’s about how things
redden and ripen and burst and come down. It’s when
city workers cut down trees, demolishing
one limb at a time, spilling the crumbs
of twigs and leaves all over the tablecloth of street.
Sunglasses! the man softly exclaims
while beside him blooms a large gray rose of pigeons
huddled around a dropped piece of bread.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chicago! Olympics! Exclamation points!

Welcome to my first blog post since my move to Chicago!

Yes, one week ago today, I set out on 1-90 W with my mom and my diabetic cat, Maude. Sitcom fodder, I know, right? We arrived the following evening after driving through the scenic states of Massachusetts, New York, Ohio and the top of Indiana.

My new digs ain't too shabby:

There are skylights and an amazing amount of natural light. There's a dishwasher. A patio. A fireplace. Central air. I feel like such a grown-up. It's all so civilized. Maude's adjustment has been a little rockier, as her new home is inhabited by another cat, Miss Meaty. The cats are hopefully moving toward being civil or at least aloof toward one another; right now, there's a lot of hissing and growling and chasing. 

In between unpacking, I have also, like the rest of the world, been watching a lot of Olympics. I realized yesterday that I watched the Beijing Olympics also after just relocating to a new city (Boston). I think I will always associate the Summer Games with living out of boxes and feeling disoriented.

I love watching gymnastics, probably because it was the only sport I was even halfway decent at as a kid. I totally had the gymnast body, before my boobs came in: short, broad shoulders, strong stocky legs. If I'd had a little more grace and balance, I coulda been a contender. I was good at vault and floor -- couldn't stay on the beam to save my life. But I remember feeling awesome after doing my first unassisted back walkover. I was a good little tumbler -- being close to the ground helped. I went to All-American Gymnastics in St. Louis a few times a week. Other than the foam pit, the thing I most looked forward to most was getting a reward of a small bag of Farley's Fruit Snacks after practice. Nothing like some high fructose artificially-fruit-flavored gummies to ruin your dinner.

The best part of watching the Olympics is how everyone is suddenly an expert. It's easy to get lost in the moment, beer in hand, bemoaning to your peers how not sticking the landing is going to result in a 3/10ths deduction. I mean, we all sound like assholes. But it's all in good fun. I nicknamed this gymnast Bangs:

Bangs did not have a good night last night. Basically, the Fab Five could have done the Funky Chicken for their floor routines and still won gold. 

But don't think I always root for the U.S. -- in many cases, I'd rather see another country win because, let's face it, the U.S. is going to get a ton of medals. That South African guy who beat out Phelps for the gold? For the rest of his life, he can say he beat Michael Phelps, most decorated and celebrated Olympian ever of all time*. Yay for that guy and for all the underdog countries who consider it a victory just to make it past the qualifying rounds.

*until some other freakishly gifted athlete tops that

So here I am, in Chicago, getting acclimated. Gearing up to teach some freshman comp at Roosevelt University and hopefully do some freelance writing as well. Hoping to join a choir and maybe even audition for a play or two. It's a whole new world.