Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It's so cool to have a mom who digs poetry.

It's so cool to have a mom who digs poetry. And it's so cool that she will call you up, day or night, when something related to poets or poetry comes up on tv or the radio (never the internet, cuz she's just not there yet) and she knows that you'll probably appreciate it too. For the last few years, she's even started assuming that I'll know the poet she's watching or listening to. "Tammy," she'll say over the phone in one of these calls, "she's saying some of her poetry, and it's on Channel 13 (the PBS affiliate here in the Dallas market), and you probably know her." Truthfully, I often do. The poet network is vast, but tight. We need each other, cuz, in reality, poets appreciate other poets more than anybody else will.

So last week, when mom was watching the Latin Grammys on television, I was surprised to get a phone call from her. She was practically in tears, well, she had already cried them, but I could detect the hangover of her weeping as she spoke. "Can you see if you can get the Grammys on the internet at your house?" she asked. "It's so beautiful, with the orchestra and a young man, he looks like some of your friends--his head shaved and he has tattoos--he's reciting poetry, and I just started crying, it was so beautiful..."

Extremely touched by her caring to share, I immediately went online and tried to hook into a livestream of the broadcast, but to no avail. Telling my mom that it was probably a rapper (and it turned out to be the lead vocalist for Calle 13), I assured her that if the segment was as powerful as she made it out to be, it would probably go viral online as a video on YouTube or whatever. Sure enough, today I got an email on the Historia list-serv that directed me to the link for exactly that Latin Grammys performance. I clicked, I watched, I wept. It was beautiful. Just like mom said. After the second viewing, I decided to phone her and let her know I'd seen the spot and that it'd already gotten over 80,000 views. Nothing that excellent goes unnoticed by the internetters. But I'm proud of my mom for noticing on her own, no thumbs-up needed.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hey, it wasn't a spam email! I really won!!

Every once in a while, I end up on a site that intrigues me with a cool link to a cooler click that directs me further to another click, link, or site. I spend quite a lot of time doing this, actually. And calling it "research." Or "inspiration." The other day, it was a direct arrow pointing to "win a book." It was a Justin Chin (Bay Area writer/poet) book that was being given away; all I had to do was say I wanted it, leave a comment, and provide an email address. Easy enough, harmless really. And I really like Justin's work, have even met him and bought a cool book from him after some flattering banter. Oh, I think I also had him come on my radio show back in Austin. He didn't literally come, I have to add, but he showed up and read some of his work, and made us laugh.

Well, anyway, I opened my yahoo email up today and found that there was a message in my inbox with a Subject Line that read: "You've won!!" Wondering how the spam filter managed to let that one get through, I yawned and clicked it open. Well, hot dawg. I really actually won! So the UPS truck will be dropping by sometime this week. And I'll actually be delivered something inspirational by Justin Chin to distract me from more research and other online contests which, ultimately, keep me from doing my own important writing. But seriously, a Justin Chin book is full of important writing. Can't wait.