Tag Archives: Storytelling

Mini Van Feed: Bowling & Bait

This weekend was the last official weekend of summer, so on Saturday I asked Van what he would like to do as the grand finale.  “Bowling.” he says. It was almost like he had the answer ready before I asked the question. Bowling? I think to myself, he has maybe bowled once in his life, where did bowling come from. On the way there, he found his way into my purse and scored some gum. When I gave him the eye for getting the gum without asking, he tells me, “Gum makes me bowl like crazy.”

On Sunday, Van wanted to go fishing. He hasn’t been fishing that much, but he talks about it all the time. Van already has a pole, but I decided to be a sport and get a fishing pole too, and a fishing licence so that I could join him.

The thing that I always forget about fishing is that it is really not my thing. It’s not that I don’t like it, I don’t mind it at all. I just don’t think fishing likes me. When I was a kid, I was swimming and someone cast upon me. I spent hours that day having people attempt to dig the hook out of my head. Because of that event, I have a real fear of fishing hooks, so every time Van cast, or for that matter even swung the pole around at all, I was like “hit the decks!” I don’t think I am being overly dramatic either, I really think that I may have some sort of magnetic field that attracts fishing hooks. Today while stringing the poles, I had hooks get stuck in my hand, in my leg and lastly in my flip flop, to the point that it became unwearable. I had to walk all the way back up the trail (and drive home) with one flip flop on which of course prompts all kinds of commentary when you are holding fishing poles.

In addition to the fear-of-hooks situation, I also had difficulty with the casting. I threaded Van’s pole and handed it to him, within two minutes he was casting like the fishing boy savant. Meanwhile I have a hook stuck in my thumb and when I finally get it loose, I go to cast and the entire reel comes flying off in three pieces and gets thrown out into the lake. When Van asks me, “Was that a fish!?” I had to tell him it was not a fish, but rather that on his mother’s first cast she sent the entire reel into the lake in pieces. How does that even happen with a new fishing rod?

So mostly I just sat on a towel and watched Van cast like an expert and come over every once in a while to switch hooks or bait. It was like he had been fishing for years. Once when he was picking out different bait he said, “I like big bait. It really suits me.”  “Sure.” I responded. And on the walk back up the path, he turned to me and said, “I would like it if we could do this every Tuesday.”


Cube Grenades and Four Minute Drugs

Trying to figure out what to bring to beach to read and came across this…  “Ignore Everybody and 39 other Keys to Creativity”,  by Hugh MacLeod who cartoons and writes Gaping Void. The book comes out on the 11th. I am a little bit loving his cube grenades. 

gaping void

His site is sort of a distant cousin to the Post It Note Stories. Hugh draws on the backs of business cards, while Arthur Jones uses Post Its as his primary medium (most noteable to me so far, is “The Four Minute Drug” by Starlee Kine).  He was featured in the This American Life Live movie. Arthur has a new “Whole Story” project, where you can submit one sentence and he will illustrate that “story” on a single Post-It. I just submitted my one sentence, fingers are crossed.

This American Life Movie Encore

So the question you might have is what in the heck is a “This American Life Movie Encore.” I wasn’t sure myself until last night. Let me break it down:

This American Life is a radio show, hosted by Ira Glass, that now has a TV show (Showtime), that now has a movie. But the movie last night was actually a live taping of the radio show on stage in NYC last week. How do you host a live movie? Good question. Apparently when they first aired the movie last week, there was a live feed from on stage in NYC to movie theaters across the country. (?!?! wow! Has this ever been done before?) I was unable to attend the live movie, but was free for the encore of the live movie last night. The funny part is that Ira knew there was going to be an encore last week, so he would talk to the audience watching on May 1 (shout outs to the theater where his dad was watching in Baltimore) and then he would talk to the audience on May 14 (Latecomers!). It was really messing with my space-time continuum (see what happens when you watch Star Trek, you start using words like space-time continuum). 

The movie had the same format as the radio show: one+ hour split up into acts where 4-5 people are tell their stories and are sometimes interviewed. The theme of this particular show was “Return to the Scene of the Crime”. The stories told in the movie were for the most part excellent, leave that one weird one with Neil Patrick Harris in Dr. Horrible’s Sing A Long blog.  

The prologue was about a girl in Florida who had stolen from a convenience store and as part of her punishment, had to return to the store and spend several hours holding up a sign that read, “I stole from this store”. Act one was “D-U-Why?!”, a story by Mike Birbigilia about how he was hit by a drunk driver and then blamed for it because of a carelessly written police report. He ends up owing the drunk driver 12 thousand dollars because he can’t get anyone to listen to him (talk about frustrating). Act Two was a story by Starlee Kine about enjoying being the most popular girl at a rehab center. While she reads the story, there are a series of drawings done on Post-It notes shown on the screen behind her relating to the story. They are the work of Arthur Jones who does the Post-It Note reading series (these are really incredible).  The last story is by Dan Savage, who writes a sex column called Savage Love. His story was called “Our Man of Perpetual Sorrow”, and was a story about his issues with the Catholic church before and after his mother’s recent death.  Excellent piece, that had us all in tears.

The other kind of interesting thing about last night is that I went to the movie with a good friend of mine and her mom and step-dad. I had talked to her step-dad for a while at a friend’s party a week or two ago and learned that he had just taken a few classes last year to become a DJ at a local station. I told him that this is something that I would love to learn to do and last night he brought a whole folder of contacts and emails, and formats of how to get started.  So I am very excited to contact the station and take a beginner course in radio. Think local station with few listeners, not “NANO IN THE MORNING!”  : )

If You Haven’t You Should

Subscribe to the Moth… esp if you have a long drive or trip in your future… amazing storytelling. 


This American Life Encore

I am so excited that there is an encore of the This American Life – LIVE! screening on May 7 in local theaters. I listen to This American Life every Saturday and/or Sunday and was lucky enough to see him live in Chapel Hill a few years ago. And even better, David Rakoff is included. His book, “Don’t Get Too Comfortable” is hilarious. 

Due to popular demand, we have added a special encore screening of This American Life—Live!, our stage show that was beamed via satellite to more than 400 movie screens nationwide on Thursday, April 23rd! The repeat event will be showing on May 7th, and tickets are on sale NOW.

In this event, Ira Glass hosts an actual episode of the radio program, performed onstage by some of our favorite contributors. Dan Savage, Starlee Kine, and Mike Birbiglia tell stories. David Rakoff and Dave Hill conduct a ‘special investigation.’ Plus a new cartoon by Chris Ware, additional visuals by Arthur Jones, and a very special appearance by Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer! The performance lasts around two hours. We captured the whole thing with a bunch of HD cameras, and sent it live* to movie theatres all over the country—if you missed the event on April 23rd, or if you loved it and want to share the experience with friends, tickets are now available for May 7th.

It’s a pretty fun night. We hope you’ll come. 

Get tickets for May 7th: here.