Friday (Cooking!) Musings

RJ has created a blog to document Greg’s progress throughout his recovery. This is the link to the page.

My creative writing class was great again last night. We talked about voice and character in writing. I devised this exercise where I gave my students four index cards. One card had a name, another an age, another an occupation, and the final card had one or two personality traits. Then I put the students in small groups and asked them to put their characters in a situation together so they could interact. They seemed to enjoy it and begin to understand how to make a character.

The snowstorm we got on Tuesday/Wednesday morning continues to be annoying. The owners of our apartment building came during lunch yesterday and plowed out the parking lot. This is awesome, but of course the only person who didn’t move their car was the girl who parks next to me, so when I got home last night I still couldn’t park in my spot. I switched with RJ and he parked on the street.

Today is my first cooking class at school. I’m really looking forward to it.

I will be watching the Superbowl this weekend. The Steelers are RJ’s team, so in that spirit here is probably one of the few sports related articles you’ll see on this blog.

Myron Cope left behind something far more personal than a legacy of terrycloth, a battle flag for a city and its team. In 1996, he handed over the trademark to the Terrible Towel to the Allegheny Valley School. It is a network of campuses and group homes across Pennsylvania for people with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities. It receives almost all the profits from sales of the towels.


I’ve started following the blog Starting Today: Poems for the First 100 Days. I like the concept and I think I might try it myself. I’m not expecting anything, but I think it’s worth thinking about. I’ve linked to this page under my Links section.

I like the one posted yesterday:

Day #10: John Paul O’Connor

New Time Old Time

The unchosen have always been the starbeams
for the poor, the tortured and beaten, the homeless,
the suffocated. They have been the wind that bursts
open poppies in an endless field, just as this morning
the January wind blew the seeds of this poem jotted
down with coffee 3 days before my daughter’s 39th birthday.
She is, at this moment, in a classroom downtown studying
nursing, while her daughter, my little Izzie, sits
at Wanda’s Daycare spilling blocks onto the carpet
with no awareness of the children’s blood spilling
in the Congo while fathers’ heads are crushed
like brittle stone and mothers’ bodies are torn open
by monstrous attackers, children they, all written
off as lost Africa which will remain lost for the next 100
days as it has for the past 300 years. It’s a tell of people
my age when you hear us say, I’ve seen this before,
Camelot and the revolution just around the corner.
Today my around the corner is the Fine Fare,
where I pick up milk, orange juice and peanut butter
for my girls before getting back to work.
I’m lucky to have work, I’ve heard a dozen people
tell me in the past week. The Dominican check-out girls
have no union though surely they thirst for something
greater. I can’t know. I don’t speak their language.
I am one of those who has sat at the bar with his whiskey,
whispering to himself on an unchosen night, I was born
too late,
thinking I might have liked to have lived through
the Depression and now it looks as if I will get my wish.
But will I get my FDR? No I will get my Obama,
the first president to have a name that begins with O.
O, Obama, be not the chosen, but the unchosen
of the unchosen revolution, not around the corner
but here on St. Nicholas Avenue where the swollen tribes
of unchosen are chanting, Africa come home, and raising
their sunbroad arms to demand of you to be what they believe
you are.

John Paul O’Connor resides in New York City and in Franklin, NY. His poems have appeared recently in Indiana Review, Eclipse, Lilies and Cannonballs and Rattle, on whose website you can hear him read his poem, “Stone City.” John hopes we will all do what Obama has urged us to do, which is to keep the pressure on to make sure he is the president we want him to be.

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