Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Mothering In The 21st Century via Microsoft Outlook With A Side Of Basho

On a fairly regular basis, my eldest son Jared takes time from his busy workday and corresponds with me from his desk.  You all remember Jared, co-author of the relatively shortlived blog Stuff On Our List, where we took turns making random lists of things and then commenting upon them.  The blog is still extant, though dormant; perhaps one day we'll take it up again.

But I digress.

This correspondence between us, via email, is largely initiated by him and takes the form of a Haiku Throwdown.  One morning, I sent him a quick email about the Cubs trading wacko pitcher Carlos Zambrano (a favourite of ours for sheer entertainment value) to Ozzie Guillen's Marlins.  He responded: 

You are on your shit
Today with all of the sports.
Nice work outta you.

How’s your matchup looking this week?

He's talking about our NBA Fantasy League, and as this was early in our enterprise and I was, as I am wont to do, obsessing over it and hating the learning curve, I returned:

I am looking for
Someone else to take my team.
I’m not having fun.

It is like a job.
Too much stress and follow-up.
I’d rather consult.

Needless to say, he had none of that.  We moved on from there, and like most moms, I can't even stop nagging via the Interwebs or in verse:

On another note:
Did you leave all those cookies
To rot in your car?

And I keep at Dad
To pack up some leftovers
As lunch for you guys.

I have probably
Enough lunch stuff in the fridge
For at least a week.

Bless his heart, Jared at least keeps his sense of humour (but really, you should see all the crap in this man's car!), and I get this:

No. Cookies half gone.
Noah liked them and had some.
They are delicious.

Imma tell that man
That I want more ham salad.
Enough for a week?

I bet that y'all have
Some flyass dinners that make
Bombass leftovers.

I really do make some flyass dinners.  Y'all would love 'em.  Noah--one of the housemates--can vouch for my cookies.  And my ham makes Bombass Ham Salad.  Just sayin'. 

Every once in a while, I have to get on Jared about his accuracy.  I don't nitpick too terribly often, but accuracy is important, and you know how we Defenders are.  Once, I felt kind of lousy about the nit I picked, so this brief flurry of email occurred:


Hey. Don’t you just hate
How these retired idiots
Nitpick all your shit?

Three minutes later from Jay:

Sometimes it’s good though
Or I might start to think that
I might know something.



  1. I love that last one best - he does need to know that he doesn't know anything :)

    I'm going to institute this with Mike - I wonder if he'll think I've lost my mind?

  2. Mikey G4:45 PM

    A Haiku Throwdown!

    What happens to the loser?

    In my mind, it's death.

  3. A Haiku Throwdown:
    Seventeen syllables to
    Nail your icy quip!

    What a treat to see
    Haiku used for mundane things
    Like rotten cookies

    * * * * * * * * * *
    Loved. Every. One. And Jared may not know it all yet, but he is most definitely a chip off the original cookie. :-)

    * * * * * * * * * *
    I miss "Stuff on our List." I know I was absent in the commenter's list for a long time, but it was nothing to do with the blog. In fact, I still go back there periodically to catch up on what I missed. Here's a thought: why not use the "Stuff on our List" format for the occasional blog post here, even if it becomes "Stuff on My List"?

    * * * * * * * * * *
    Are you sure Walt is the only one on your reading list these days? Because I am thinking that "honour" must have crept in from some sort of British lit you're reading and possibly subconsciously coloured your writing.

    * * * * * * * * * *
    Word-Ver: unsorty
    Meant to describe some vaguely
    Amorphous feeling

  4. 3rd--Have you been taken over by a SpamBot'2?

    Ortizzle--"Stuff" was my third blog, and was supposed to be collaborative. Jared pooped out, and it was just too much to keep going with very little ROI. So, it had to go. I incorporate lists here, most recently the post office one, every once in a while. They are tougher to think up than you might imagine. RE: british spellings. I do that largely to be pretentious and distinctive. I started it over at The Tie Report, and sometimes it carries over here. Sigh. Also, nice haiku comment! Love when my commenters participate.

    Mikey G--I had to omit several haiku of Jared's because they degenerated into hometown "hoodspeak", and you know what that gets like. Out of context, it could be iffy. I KNOW YOU MISS IT! Thanks for haiku-ing in comments. Such fun.

    The Bug--Maybe you could start slow and have just a Haiku Thursday or something. He'll love it!

  5. I don't like Haiku
    I'll do it only for you
    Haiku makes me blue.

    A poem I know
    Written by Edgar A. Poe
    Has just the right flow.

    It's a bit of lore
    All about the lost Lenore
    Who could ask for more?

  6. 'Clinked on your martini glass and went to visit Margaret & Helen. That's for introducing me to such a great blog. Just finished reading Helen's "Jesus is the reason for the season" and it's one of the wisest, funniest, nail-on-the-head political summaries of The New Motley Crew Republicans I have read.

    Pink Razors was awesome, too. Helen for President. I would love to see her in a debate with Michelle Bachman or Sarah Palin, tee-hee.

  7. Ortizzle--I found that blog ages ago and immediately added it to my sidebar list of Other Departments. I hope it really is a couple of old ladies, but even if it isn't, the writing is wonderfully snarky and no-nonsense and exactly what I would say 99% of the time. So, of course I love it.

    Nancy--Hee hee. You make haiku to hard on yourself. It does not have to rhyme! But nice work.

  8. I loved his last haiku, and the relationship you have with your grown sons. :)

    I tried to comment a few days ago, but blogger was drying to drive me crazy and wouldn't accept my interpretation of the letters. I even signed out and in again, and the SAME word came up. I tried the handicap version, and that didn't work either. Glad to see (well, I hope, I haven't tried it yet) that it's working again.

  9. Love this post, Nance! Can totally relate as Son and I communicate through a variety of methods with rapid-fire email exchanges being one of them. No haiku is involved, but suddenly I'll get one of his musings on the situation of the world. We had an interesting political discussion just the other day, too ... and shockingly even agreed on the topic. However, your and Jared's final haiku exchange ... we haven't reached that point yet. Usually when I slip into momspeak, the conversation comes to an abrupt end. ;-)


  10. j.@jj--I'm really sorry about Blogger treating you so badly. I know how frustrating word vers can be; the ones on WordPress are completely undecipherable to me most of the time. I don't have any way to choose what kind of capcha to use, and if I don't use any, I get inundated with spam. Thank you SO MUCH for perservering and leaving a comment in spite of it all.
    I am grateful for the relationship that Rick and I have built with Jared and Sam. It's something I feel really good about, and I hope it translates into a huge positive in the event that they have children of their own one day.

  11. Shirley--Oh, there have been PLENTY of times that my Electronic Mothering is met with a Gulf Of Silence. I get the message and move on to something else. Another benefit of Empty Nest, really. Distance/absence lends its charm and perspective, believe me. On BOTH sides.

  12. Like Woody Allen
    You'll love Midnight in Paris
    The best of the rest.

  13. Dear Defender of the Language and Haiku,

    I forgot to ask and would seriously like to know.

    Do you punctuate Haiku? Should I have had a question mark after
    like Woody Allen in the above?

  14. Nancy--I am not a huge fan of Woody Allen. He's very into the New York aesthetic, and I often feel a bit like an outsider during his films. Sometimes his movies have wonderful human moments, and when he's not busy reminding audiences that It's A Woody Allen Movie, that's when his films are the most enjoyable.

    Re: punctuation of haiku. As you can imagine, since haiku originated in Japan and was brought to English via translation, punctuation became the whim/discretion of its translator. It also became a sort of battleground during the Beat and 20th century free verse movements when a sort of "organic aesthetic" entered the artistic canon, and punctuation was thought to impede the naturalness of haiku's expression. I think a happy medium has been struck currently--and I ascribe to it myself--by using minimal punctuation to clarify meaning for the reader. It preserves the original haiku structure (form) and adds to its meaning (function), thus maintaining its organic aesthetic without sacrificing its import.

  15. Thank you for the explanation.
    I appreciate it.

    About Midnight In Paris..The only thing about the film that makes you think of Woody is the 30's brassy music. I don't want to tell you another thing about it except that I think you will enjoy it.

    One scene made me think,"Wow,wait till Nance sees this."

  16. Nancy--You're welcome, and I'm beyond flattered that you would have thought of me while watching a movie. I'll make plans to see it. Thank you.

  17. Nance, Midnight in Paris is really good...much of the Woody Allen thing rubs me the wrong way. I don't like his quick talking jokey way. But his movies without him in them, I really like. :)

  18. im very proud of the relationship i have with both of my parents. we have always been close and im very grateful for it. its nice to feel like an adult WITH my parents while still knowing that there is the parent/child element. i take great pride in that balance and things like the haiku exchanges are important. its something to do "with" my mother. how many people at 27 can say that the person they have the most "fun" contact with through their work day is their mother? and i work WITH my father. along side him. we help each other, we facilitate a lot of what goes on and im damn proud of the work we do there.

  19. This is what I have to look forward to when the nest empties.


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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