If I worked for a consortium of blues musicians, instead of a magazine, I might be given the nickname Bottleneck Niesslein. Because, these days, anything that gets passed my way will get caught in the (relatively) small and (I remind myself) temporary bottleneck of work. I got them overwhelmed-by-professional-obligations blues. My sense of order up done and left me. The deadlines, they treating me mean.
In the meantime (while I let my tired old metaphors take a load off), some nuggets:
--Plumpynut. I predict this is the name that will launch a thousand seventh-grade current event reports.
--I was recently in the Pittsburgh area, and on the road from the airport, the signs struck me as a little passive-aggressive. “Beware of Aggressive Drivers.” “Watch Out for Drunk Drivers.” “DUI: You Can’t Afford It.” Pennsylvania knows that you would never lick the icing off one side of your sister’s birthday cake, but thinks you might have some ideas on how it could have happened.
--An interesting quote from an essay by Newsweek’s Kathleen Deveny. The essay is about correcting stranger’s kids, and here’s yer historial perspective: “Kids were not raised to internalize their own family's particular values, they were expected to share the community's values," says Stephanie Coontz, a professor of history and family studies at Evergreen State College. That began to change in the 1830s as class distinctions grew sharper. "Often it wasn't so much 'our family has different rules' as 'our type has different rules'."
--Via Julianne, this brouhaha over Jessica Seinfeld’s book (Deceptively Delicious) and Missy Chase Lapine’s book (The Sneaky Chef) seems bizarre to me. (The both offer recipes on how to trick children into eating nutrients.) There’s at least three forthcoming books with a concept similar to Practically Perfect. It’s just a weird Zeitgeist-y thing. It happens, and I fully expect the better-connected and dewier-skinned authors to get more press than I did (not that I’m complaining). As David Byrne taught us all, “Somebody somewhere owes us a favor—that’s how things really get done.”