Sunday, January 27, 2008

Birds flying high, you know how I feel

Have I mentioned how much I hate the new Discovery show Smash Lab? I haven't? Good. Let's get started. The premise is that it's Mythbusters but with (purportedly) better science and no middle-aged guys with red hair and walrus moustaches. Replacing icky pale white guys are the hip, Gen XYZ Smash Lab team, who walk around in slow-motion towards cameras a lot. Like William Holden and the gang in The Wild Bunch. Except it's not a last stand against the encroaching, emasculating modernity of the 20th century. It's more along the lines of gluing carbon fiber to a mobile home and firing two-by-fours at it with a nifty air-powered bazooka. Which, I confess, I covet. But, it's the patent falseness of the project, of the "team." They're less a team of geeky tinkerers and more blatantly a charisma-free rash of test marketing. There's the hunky, hip, sort of metrosexual "Ideas Guy" and the beefy, schlubby, Everyman "Engineer" guy, the sweet, curly-haired "Sensitive One," I mean, "Design Guy," and the airy, innocent, wholesome but still sexy "Scientist" and, God, I don't know what else. If they had the budget to add in an animated sidekick, they probably would. Maybe a wacky neighbor who never seems to understand "all that there science." Picture Larry the Cable Guy updating Mr. Roper. Later, a mop-haired kid would join the team, adopted or, hell, maybe created from stem cells in the Smash Lab (designated by its large Smash Lab logo). Mostly, they'd try out off the shelf "science" ideas cooked up by the producers, ideas which, prima facie, are not going to work or be plausible. Mostly because science and walking towards the camera so as to connote Ultimate Scientific Bad-assery doesn't mix. Auditioning for a lame show isn't the same as the scientific method. It's just lameness. Did I mention I hate the show? I've watched it once, granted, but I'm allergic to it, apparently.

***

A nice day here, 60, after a week and more of temps in the teens. Good grief.

***

And AWP is this week. It sort of snuck up on me, busy as I am. I just got back from the drug store, buying up carry-on size stuff, toothpaste, shampoo, shaving gel, etc.

I'm looking forward to it. Everything has changed so much in the time since AWP Atlanta. All of it for the better.

In fact, early on at Atlanta, I considered leaving. I just wasn't having fun. I kept running into faculty members of a program I'd interviewed with, done well at, and really liked, then, well,
whatever it was that happened. Hello, awkwardness, my old friend.

And it caught me off guard. It was two hours back home. I thought about taking off. I'm glad I didn't but, ultimately, I couldn't quite escape the cloud hanging over me.

But, obviously, things are better now. By a long ways.

***

Plugging my AWP:

Thursday morning at 9:00 I'm on the panel The Disabled Body Poetic in the Gibson Room on the second floor of the Hilton. I'll probably read an excerpt of the memoir.

Then, still Thursday, at noon, I'll be reading some poems at the Hayden's Ferry Review 20th Anniversary Reading in the Clinton Suite of the Hilton, second floor.

Lastly, I'll be signing Notes for My Body Double from 4:00 to 4:45 on Thursday at the University of Nebraska Press table. After that, I'll be signing other things, like subpoenas, receipts, Louisville Slugger baseball bats, the sky, and boobs.

If all goes according to plan.

6 comments:

K said...

Take my advice...turn the TV off.

Nick McRae said...

So jealous of your AWP-going-ness. I'll be here in the Czech Republic, dreaming of poems.

Anonymous said...

Be honest -- you love the science show. Hope you're doing fine this lovely, semi-chilly morning.

Betsy

Oliver de la Paz said...

Hey bro,


No doubt, 'bout AWP in Hotlanta. To boot, I think I had a cold while I was there.

Anyway, I'll probably bump into you, yeah?

early hours of sky said...

I actually had Billy Collins sign my boob once but that is a story that involves some wine.

Have fun at AWP!

The Reader said...

Saw Gloria J. at the always rollicking MMS and MHS marching band trivia fund raiser last night at the American Legion Hall - and she said Rodney and Jon were at AWP. I hope you got to see and hug everyone nice from here. If y'all had more fun than we did at the Legion, then it must have been smashing!