Kinda Free, Kinda Wow — Potpourri

(Title source video here.)

I’ll be bopping down to Real City later today to pick up a jumbo container of animal crackers for Mrs. M’s first-graders, and to get my pre-semester haircut and beard trim. In the meantime, here’s the Saturday potpourri.


Finished reading Megan Abbott’s You Will Know Me a couple of days ago. It’s an interesting example, I think, of what some folks have taken to calling “domestic suspense.” Set in the world of elite women’s gymnastics, the book examines the family of an Olympic hopeful in a time of multiple crises, some of which involve crime. However, the crises are themselves primarily lenses through which Ms. Abbott considers the stresses in a prodigy’s family. It’s a very literary feeling book, elegantly written and finely crafted. Indeed, if I have a complaint, it’s that it may be a bit too elegant for my tastes — I occasionally found myself distanced from the story by the stylistic choices, such as the use of third-person limited p.o.v. throughout (the book is told from the perspective of the gymnast’s mother.)  Once I got settled in, however, the story moved along nicely, accelerating toward an ending that leaves the reader suspended in space like a gymnast in mid-vault.

While I don’t think You Will Know Me will be my favorite of Megan’s novels — that pick would likely be Dare Me — it’s a fine book, and I have no qualms about recommending it. Megan Abbott has been the Next Big Thing for several years, and I think it’s time to drop the temporal qualifier. She’s a Big Thing now (literarily speaking — she remains tiny as ever from my hulking brute’s perspective), and deservedly so. Good book.


And speaking of my hulking brutality and my efforts to diminish same, I did  5Ks Thursday and yesterday, putting me slightly over an IKEA half-marathon for the week. I also made a point of walking to campus on several occasions, despite the heat and humidity. The term starts on Tuesday, so I’ll have to switch from doing my walks first thing in the morning to doing them at lunchtime or in the afternoon, but one does what one must, I guess.


Sometimes, what one must do is correct foul-ups he made in putting a syllabus together. I put together the syllabi for my three classes last weekend, only to discover on Wednesday morning that a class I had planned for a Tuesday/Thursday schedule in fact will meet on an MWF basis. An evening of scrambling ensued, but it ended well, I think, and I even found a way to shoehorn a few extra stories into the term. Still, I felt like a schmuck.

In other academic news, the Spawn met with her adviser yesterday, and has decided to add a history major to her already active English major. Oh, the humanities! It’s funny — her adviser actually told her she was on a pace to graduate a year early, to which the Spawn’s reaction was “Why would I want to do that?” Part of that, of course, comes from the fact that she’s getting through this with little-to-no debt by going to Mondoville, but I was also reminded of what my folks said when it was suggested that the six-year-old me get turned into one of those hothoused Doogie Howser kids (apparently, someone at Vandy had shown some interest in doing that with me.) My mom said, “He’ll have his whole life to be smart — he’s only going to be a kid once.” The Spawn is wise enough to know there’s not a hurry, and I’m fine with that.


Speaking of the Spawn, she received her first paycheck yesterday, and chose to celebrate it by treating her old man to a sno-cone. Pretty cool — in every sense.


In other news, today is the birthday of two of my dear friends. Occasional commenter (and my friend for more than 40 years) Michael Dearing turns 52 today, and the lovely Mad Doc turns a number lower than that. Many happy returns to you both.


The Berries took the week off, but it looks like we have a show scheduled at a new (for us) venue in late September, and we’re working on some newer material as well. Updates as required.


And what would Saturday potpourri be without music? Well, shorter, I suppose, but I think I’d find it incomplete as well. Today’s song is from Steve Vai’s early EP, FlexAble [sic], and it’s really remarkable that I haven’t posted it before. The Spawn has always been fascinated by the paranormal, from cryptozoology to UFOs, and when this song popped up on my iPod as I walked yesterday, it struck me as the kind of thing she might like. This is “Little Green Men.”

See you soon!



About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
This entry was posted in Alternating Feet, Education, Literature, Music. Bookmark the permalink.

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