Saturday, October 27, 2007

Testing the Parents

The Saint says I must tell you this story, and we all know that when the Saint tells me to do something, I do it. (And she's helping me tell it right now.)

So, Middle Child (he who loves quantum physics and existential philosophy) had a math test the other day. He gets (needlessly) all stressed out about these things.

He came home yesterday and said, "Wanna know what I got on my math test?"

Of course we said yes.

"Well, first of all, we had to correct our mistakes on the test. And so all the other kids corrected theirs, but I didn't. Wanna know why?" (*head cocked to the side and dimples aglow*)

He didn't let us answer.

"Because I got 100."

And then he cackled wildly. We laughed, too.

Speaking of Middle Child, he and the Saint went to the Haunted House at church last night. Middle Child had a blast, even though he was scared to death and wouldn't let go of the Saint. Daughter went to the same Haunted House earlier in the evening, except that her version was lights on. She forgot about the "fun" part, buried her face in the Saint's shoulder, and screamed.

I think she'll be recovered in time to trick or treat as a princess (Middle Child is Dracula). My only hope about Halloween: That the World Series is over by then. I promised the kids I'd take them out, but I don't want to miss a single pitch.


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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

In No Particular Order...

  1. Proof that the internet connects people: A high school classmate of mine Googled the late, great Nick Alicino. He found this blog, e-mailed me, and announced that he lives about an hour away. I think that's one of my favorite things about this blog. I hear from old friends, other writers, and fellow Springsteen fans, sometimes on a daily basis.
  2. A manuscript you'll never read begins: "A little baby monster got lost in the woods. Daddy, I'm too scared to finish this story." Aren't daughters wonderful?
  3. Another Daughter vignette: Daughter has a "new" easel. Drawing is one of her favorite things. On Sunday, she said to the Saint, "Mommy, can I have some paper? Oh, never mind, I found some." An hour later, I said to the Saint, "Has anyone seen the top two pages of my manuscript?" Yes, you know where this is going. I found the pages on Daughter's easel, covered in beautiful pictures of princesses.
  4. That manuscript, by the way, is finally (really, truly this time) on its way to New York.


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Friday, October 19, 2007

And It's Finished

The manuscript (all ten copies) goes back to my agents on Monday.

More when I have news.



Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Please Stand By

We are NOT experiencing technical difficulties. We are not dead. We are busy. All of us.

The Saint is busy teaching and parenting. Oldest Son is busy studying and hanging out with his friends. Middle Child is busy studying and studying and teaching quantum physics and studying. Daughter is busy changing her clothes for the seventeenth time today, every day.

I am busy parenting and proofing this manuscript. It's the tedious stage, because I'm not trying to create new scenes; I'm not trying to edit it; I'm just trying to make sure it reads well and that I haven't made any mistakes. In other words, even though the sooner I finish, the sooner we submit, it's tough, bleary-eyed, my-head-shall-soon-explode tedium.

So that's why you haven't heard from me lately. You will hear from me soon, if I survive this last read-through.


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Saturday, October 06, 2007

News of the Day

For all those who've tried thousands of times to score tickets to Springsteen shows, only to (over)pay "ticket brokers" later, today's New York Times has a must-read article.

I had many of the same experiences in my recent attempts to purchase tickets for Hartford and Boston, so the story struck home. In fact, had it not been for the extraordinary generosity of friends during the National Holiday, I wouldn't have landed tickets at all. Yes, I realize that I am very lucky to have such friends.

In other news, Oldest Son and Middle Child are on their way to Washington and Northern Virginia with their grandparents. Daughter and The Saint are having Girls' Night this evening. Though I possess a Y Chromosome, I'm also invited.

Before that, we're heading North to see my uncle, my aunt and my rock star grandmother. A year ago this same weekend, we were all together in San Diego for my cousin Matt's wedding. You might have read about that experience somewhere.

Finally, yesterday my agents asked me to send them ten copies of my manuscript and bio. For those of you who have yet to consume your Saturday morning coffee, that means that they've signed off on the manuscript, all systems are go, and we'll be submitting very, very soon.


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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Another Page Turns

I'm not sure where the past year has gone, but Oldest Son turned 14 this morning. The punchline in the card we got him says, "Thanks for being a son your parents can brag about."

I think that covers it.

The kid is growing up way too quickly. For years, people have said, "Pretty soon he'll be driving." Guess what? "Pretty soon" is only two years from now. We already know that The Saint will be teaching him the rules of the road.

Here's Oldest Son, in a nutshell: Straight As and murder in the low post. Plus a killer sense of humor and a raffish charm.

So, let me repeat: Thanks for being a son we can brag about.

Love you,


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

It's Cool Again

When I got home this morning, there was a comment on my blog from my still-unmet Norwegian friend. Over on his own blog, he'd written, in his discussion of the new album, that "The biggest surprise as a dedicated fan for the past 20 years is that all of a sudden, for the first time since I was 12, it’s cool to be a Bruce fan."

I can remember high school, when Nick Alicino, Kevin Guilfoile and I were the only Springsteen fans in the building, if not the entire Village of Cooperstown. Now, we're everywhere, and that's a good thing.

So yeah, it's cool to be a Bruce fan (not that I've known anything different since 1984). I'm just glad to have so much company.

Having worked most of my professional life on a variety of Democratic campaigns, I'm struck by how many Democratic operatives are rabid Springsteen fans. I rode to Hartford with four other Democratic operatives last night. Two, I'd known for years; the other two, I met for the first time just before we left Boston. If you were to total the aggregate number of Springsteen shows we've attended, it approaches 100.

As I wrote earlier today, the concert was spectacular. We all agreed on that. Here's the review from the Hartford Courant. This one is from the Boston Globe. Finally, here's a take from the Boston Herald.

Backstreets has the setlist, which I've pasted here:

Radio Nowhere
The Ties That Bind
Lonesome Day
Gypsy Biker
Reason to Believe
She's the One
Livin' in the Future
The Promised Land
Town Called Heartbreak
Darkness on the Edge of Town
Darlington County
Devil's Arcade
The Rising
Last to Die
Long Walk Home
* * *
Girls in Their Summer Clothes
Born to Run
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
American Land

As I wrote this morning, the "Reason to Believe", "Night", and "She's the One" trifecta was absolutely stunning. All the new songs were great, and of the classics, "Born to Run" and "Badlands" brought down the house. There was nothing from the first two albums in the Springsteen catalog, but nobody seemed to mind, because the resulting show was heavy with cuts from "Darkness" and "Born to Run".

The overwhelming consensus is that as great as last night was, this tour can only get better. That, too, is a good thing. See you in Boston.



Opening Night in Hartford

Fabulous romp down E Street. Every song the band played from the new album sounds better live than on the studio version (yes, we had the studio version playing loudly in the car).

The highlight of the night for me was a fabulous trifecta: A roadhouse-y, Delta Blues version of "Reason to Believe," right into "Night," then immediately into "She's the One."

Might be the best triple play I've ever heard at a Springsteen show.

More details tomorrow... er... later today. But for now, it's 2 a.m., I'm home safe, and I can't wait to see Bruce and the band in Boston.