10 BEST THINGS ABOUT BEING SNOWED IN
CLEARING THE SIDEWALK
A heavy coat of snow lies on the ground this Saturday afternoon. There’s a lonely pair of tire treads running down our street, and none of the cars have moved. The sidewalks remain under cover. When my next-door neighbor comes out with his snow shovel, I’ll ask to borrow it. It’s an opportunity to get to build community and demonstrate a sense of civic responsibility. Last time I didn’t do anything and the sun melted the snow, but some neighbors in a shady area let their tract turn into a sheet of ice. Haven’t seen a sign of my neighbor yet. I’ll hold off.
Being Saturday afternoon, a heavy snow on the ground provides a good opportunity to catch up on some quality public radio programming. “This American Life,” “Weekend America” and “Sound Opinions.” During the week, campaign finance reports and other documents are my “Law and Order,” so light-fare weekend public radio counts as high entertainment for me. A lot of these shows are great, but let’s just focus on “Sound Opinions” for a moment. Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot, music writers respectively for the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune, dish out a provocative and intelligent stew of talk about pop music, mainly rock and roll, that connects the historical arc with the contemporary breaking wave. As a former music writer with a regional focus, I couldn’t have hoped to digest as much music as these guys. I particularly appreciated their efforts to rehabilitate the reputations of disco and prog-rock.
PLAYING IN THE SNOW
I can’t say I was enterprising enough to stop by Lowe’s and pick up a sled before the big snow storm, so lucky me, I stumbled across three adult neighbors running plastic saucers down the hard-packed ice slope of Guilford Avenue to the foot of the hill where lies the Westerwood Tavern. It was pretty awesome, even though I experienced some difficulty with steering. Inevitably, all of us ended up having to bail to avoid crashing into the white Caddy parked in front of the bar.
It’s inevitable that when two adults in love find themselves with time on their hands in a private, confined space, body heat and hormones will work their magic. This phenomenon needs no explanation, and description can only reduce its charm.
Indulging my new passion for social media, I’m sure I’ve wasted precious hours, but through Twitter and Facebook, I have learned that several events have been canceled and postponed — the civil rights 50 th anniversary civil rights commemorative gala at the Koury Convention (learned through News & Record Editor John Robinson) and church tomorrow (ascertained through fellow parishioner Jane Redmont on Facebook).
Because of a rapidly unfolding story last week about Guilford County Commission Chairman Skip Alston’s back-room discussion with two members of the Greensboro City Council on the proposed luxury downtown hotel, in which I can claim two scoops, I’ve been obsessively checking comment threads at Ed Cone’s blog, which has served as a clearinghouse for new information. I admit, it’s partly narcissism.
This episode has brought me back into the fold of blogging. After I declared the superiority of Twitter two weeks ago, blogger Roch Smith Jr. ribbed me at the bottom of one of my lengthier blog posts: “Can you put this into 140 characters for us please?”
CATCHING UP ON THE JOHN EDWARDS SCANDAL
From People.com on Jan. 30:
Ex-mistress and baby mama Rielle Hunter filed an affidavit on Jan. 28 in an attempt to retrieve a videotape stating, “In or about September 2006, using my video camera, I authored a personal video recording that depicted matters of a very private and personal nature. In 2006, I was also having an intimate relationship with Edwards.” Really? Really? This is the man I supported in the Democratic primary? This is the man who thought he was fit to be my president? Really?
My dearest companion cites drinking wine, staying home from work if you have a job in which people’s lives do not depend on you, cuddling and eating hot soup. I would add, on her behalf, watching Korean soap operas.
Social media? Blogging? What ever happened to that old-fashioned pursuit, reading books?
Books will never go out of style. I started reading The Paranoid Style In American Politics by Richard Hofstadter on Christmas Day and got through most of it. In honor of the 50 th anniversary of the Woolworth’s sit-in, I’m reading Parting the Waters: America In the King Years, 1954-63. Which reminds me that I need to renew it. In honor of JD Salinger, who died on Jan. 27, I recommend everyone revisit The Catcher In the Rye, Franny and Zooey and Nine Stories.
READING, AND MORE READING
Back in the days when I was in grad school in New York City, I spent the better part of my Sundays reading the hefty New York Times. I don’t really have time for it anymore, and the most fascinating intrigues, for me, are in our backyard in the Triad. But with time on my hands on a Saturday evening, I find myself peaking at the advance Times, scoping articles to read. The review of the new Patti Smith memoir and an report on young conservative activist James O’Keefe III, I think.