Friday, September 12, 2008

Shameless Self-Promotion; The Very Confident Jamie Lee Curtis; Lessons Learned (Friday Roundup)

On Newsstands Now ... Pardon the shameless self-promotion, but I haven't had the energy or patience to update my website lately, and posting a blog is far easier. If one of my teenag...I mean, assistants...would do some scanning and filing, maybe this would have been done the right way. But for now, I'll just provide a couple of links to where you can find me this month.

The publication of Victoria, formerly a Hearst magazine, was resumed by Hoffman almost one year ago. I'm proud to be contributing to the revived product. In the September/October issue, I have three articles -- only two have bylines. Check out pages 28, 34 and 44.

In less than one month, I will again be in the woods, firing pistols, handling an ATV, shooting arrows and hanging out with 200 other women for three fun days as part of the BOW workshop. BOW is held twice each year -- in the spring and again in the fall. Read about BOW in the August/September issue of Thicket here. To learn more about the BOW program, check out the site here. Registration is full for the October event, but you can make plans for spring. And you should. If you live outside Alabama, check the website for your state's conservation department. The program is offered in 40 states. I hope yours is one of them.

If you're interested in more of my recent work, check the website in the next week. Especially if you are the hiring/assigning editor type.


This Week's Book Review ... Today, I am promoting a children's book. Jamie Lee Curtis is busily pushing her latest title, Big Words for Little People. Everybody let out a big "FINALLY." Because if you've ever read her books, then you know how ageless and timeless they are and how you wish you had thought of that idea first and why does Jamie Lee Curtis get everything and you don't? That is because she is the very fit-and-50, self-confident Jamie Lee Curtis who distracts husbands the world over, isn't afraid to step out and say what the rest of us are thinking and who also happens to be friends with the best illustrator on the planet, Laura Cornell.

The message of this book (because Jamie Lee always has a message) is to celebrate language and to choose our words more carefully so that we can better bridge generations and retain the meaning of words. You could also infer that Jamie Lee is sort of fed up with trite words and would like for us to return to more accurate and descriptive phrasing.

If I had to list a word whose use really needs minimizing, it would be "amazing." Few people are really "amazing," but to hear the teenagers talk, you would think they are walking around with their jaws dropped in total awe of everyone and everything they see. "She's an amazing person." "He's an amazing athlete." "This is an amazing pizza."

Some people might say the same thing about "awesome," which is a word I love, because it is often the only word that fits. My college roommate's dad once scolded us for using the word so often because, he said, we had no idea what "awesome" even means. True story from a football Saturday: "Awesome," he explained, "would be if you were standing in front of that football stadium right there, and the whole thing just crumbled for no reason, right before your eyes." I suppose that would be awesome. It would also be very sad.

Back to the book. Add it to your collection. Read it to your kids. Read it for yourself. Jamie Lee Curtis is so very awesome.


This Will Hurt Me More Than It Hurts You ...

* The monthly insurance premium that allows you the privilege of driving a mighty cute VW Bug every blasted day ... $80.

* Gas for the VW Bug each month ... $50.

* The cost of repairing a drive shaft and front axle damaged from plowing into a solid brick mailbox ... $1,000+/-.

* Having to ride the big yellow bus at age 16 when you have an assigned parking space and friends who know that you have a car ... priceless.


More Brandon Backlash ... Scroll down or click here to recap the "more smack" story, then read this little e-mail exchange, which began as a response to the football game story and was described by one reader as an "adult mama slapdown," which gives the entire scenario a sort of trashy feel. I don't consider myself especially trashy, but maybe it was given as a compliment. (I have bleeped out a couple of words. Because I'm classy that way.)

A reader's response, found in my inbox:

See, women can get away with doing those things. Men? The guy would have bowed up and gotten all mad and "manly" and then there would have been a fight.
Women, especially mamas, should learn early to not always ask the husband to "Do something about that!"
Often the best course of action is to let mama -- especially a mad, stare-down, ready-to-kick-xxx mama with kids -- take care of the problem.
Of course, the husband has to be ready to cold-cock the XXX immediately if he makes one peep, curse word or threatening move. Then it's go-time in a serious no-holds-barred mode.

My response ...

Gosh, I never considered that the Brandon exchange could have resulted in a FIGHT. This must be how all those fights break out at Bama games -- man talks smack, another man confronts him, etc., etc. Next thing you know, a state trooper or sheriff's deputy is marching up a flight of bleachers. In Auburn, apparently, the fighting is left up to the womenfolk.

And all is right with the world ...

It's the weekend. Read a few good magazines or a children's book. Watch or play some football. Drive carefully. Kick somebody's tail. Pick up something nice for yourself, even if it once belonged to somebody else.