Sorry for the dearth around here, but it’s been a challenging week — the internet connection went out for 36 hours, and I started my re-entry at work, which means most of what I think about these days involves how to force a return without an indent in Quark (it’s shift/return, if you’re taking notes). Yesterday my next-desk neighbor and I discussed, at some length, whether “special-education teacher” should have a hyphen. I contended it should, which is why I just used one now. Adjectival phrases take hyphens! This is something I feel very strongly about! And now that it’s my job, I see myself penning 2,500-word essays on the topic in this very space.
Ha. Kidding. Besides, someone else thought of it first.
But now I’m home, in the cool gloom of my living room. It’s gloomy because I think it’s gonna rain, the way it’s rained 39 of the last 40 days, or something like that. We left Fort Wayne last August, one month after a summer flood some described as “freakish.” We arrived in June, in the midst of minor summer flooding, again caused by rainfall. Maybe not so freakish. (Alex has more on this.) Every day since we returned, it’s rained at least a little, and some of them have been cloudbursts where it came down so fast and hard it threatened to wash the paint off the house.
Monday, at the library, I heard a man moaning that parts of the city were flooding, “and still you see kids outside playin’ in the puddles. It’s like they don’t know we’re havin’ a disaster.”
No, they probably don’t. When you’re nine years old, a puddle’s a puddle and a flooded basement is not yet a disaster.
Since my broadband’s been down — aren’t you glad people no longer say they “broke down on the Information Superhighway” when this happens? — I haven’t even been able to comb the world for linkylicious linkage for you to follow. But! I have analog media to recommend, so y’all listen up.
I think, a few times in the last few years, I’ve pointed you to a Hank Stuever story in the WashPost. He’s my fave WashPost Style writer, and I’m almost over my all-consuming jealousy that one of his editors is the great Henry Allen. (I took a writing workshop with the great Henry Allen when I was young and impressionable, and it messed with my mind in a big way.) Well. One lesson of the internet is this: People Google their names, and sometimes they find you, and if you’re really lucky, sometimes they send you just-published collections of their journalism.
I’ve hardly minded the 36-hour internet interruptions, because I’ve been reading Hank Stuever essays and reportage on such topics as molded-resin chairs, discount funeral homes, a modern wedding and, of course, the famous Evil Queens piece.
Don’t just take it from me because I got a free copy due to my shameless sucking-up: This is a wonderful book. Buy two!
P.S. The great Henry Allen sent me his book, too, after that writing workshop, held when young Hank Stuever was still playing with Star Wars figurines. Oh my, but I loved Fool’s Mercy too. Current Amazon sales rank: 1,569,914. Well, it’s been a long time.