Paper Boy


(Sunday Paper, Volume II, Issue 39)

A few years ago, when I first left the classroom and the school year started, I quickly realized I needed to have some kind of structure to my day.

So I began waking up way early before the girls were up and before I had to get them ready for school and I would read the newspaper.

But I did it on-line.

Which is not my ideal way of reading the paper.

I kept it up for a good six months, but for a variety of reasons (mostly the opportunity to sleep a little later) I stopped reading the paper everyday.

Then, as you probably know, this past summer I locked down some steady writing gigs.

So as a reward to myself I bought myself a subscription to the good ol' newspapery newspaper.


I've told you in the past that I'm a big fan of reading the Sunday newspaper. We've had that subscription probably for as long as we've lived in Framingham. (12 years.)

I had a New York Times subscription in college for a short time (I loved the idea that I could have a New York newspaper delivered to my door in Boston!) and there have been a couple of times throughout our married years that we've had a newspaper delivered daily.

But I've never actually read the newspaper. I picked through it and maybe skimmed it and definitely read only a few things.

The nice thing about having the newspaper now is that I appreciate it in a way I never have before.

I read most of the paper these days - and I can feel myself getting smarter. I'm learning the names of lawmakers in Congress quicker than I ever have before. And, of course, keeping up on what they're doing. I am understanding more about satellites in outer space and other science thingies (scientific word right there) that I thought I was bored by but maybe didn't just ever give a chance.

I'm a fan of the actual newspaper. When I was reading the Times on-line I didn't love the linear sidebar format - I always felt like it was a slog until I got through sections. (I actually very much liked the Boston Globe virtual paper where you could zoom in on the actual newspaper page. I don't even know if they still do that.) But I felt like I had to read the entire paper in one sitting reading it on-line and with the physical paper I can put it down and pick it back up later in the day and sometimes finish it in a chair by the lamp in the evening like the old man I'm becoming.

I've gotten a lot less OCD about having to read all the words too. Instead of getting overwhelmed by all of the stories I give it a couple of paragraphs. If I find myself suddenly halfway through the article it's usually got my attention enough that I'll finish the whole thing. If I can't even get through a couple of paragraphs I figure it's not worth struggling through, I read the picture captions if there are any, and move on. (It occurs to me I could have benefitted - and maybe still could benefit - from someone teaching how to read a newspaper. Maybe I should teach that class somewhere?)

I don't worry so much that the one article I don't read will be the news item everyone is talking about and I'll feel left out. (I can't be the only person who thinks like this, can I?)

I know what you're thinking - John, a daily newspaper subscription is expensive. You can't possibly be making that much money freelance writing?

You're right. I'm not. It is important to remember that Kathy is a student these days and we get student discounts on certain things and this is one of them.

And so here I sit with ink-stained hands, doing my part to help keep the print industry afloat, a more informed version of myself from just a month or so ago.

Oh. I also like doing the crossword in the actual newspaper.


*I had a good week - I'm feeling pretty good about myself and my work. I think I'm a pretty good writer.


*I think I'm also pretty good at comedy but it's been a long September drought here. So I'll have to remind myself about it this week - Monday in Cambridge, Saturday in Maine. I told you about the Cambridge show a couple of weeks ago - it's the one with the cool flyer. And it's also got a great feature and headliner - Kwasi and Kathe are two of the people in the comedy scene I think are not only funny but also two of the nicest people I've met doing comedy and enjoy being around. Then I've got shows the next couple of Saturdays, which is always a good thing.

What I've Been Enjoying

*Here's a new thing we've been doing with our Saturday mornings lately. I go in the garage, dig out an old CD, and we have Saturday morning music while we eat breakfast. (Yes, I read the physical newspaper and listen to CDs. Maybe I'm going through a mid-life crisis.) It's been pretty nostalgic for me - so many of the CDs I own are from my college years and I think I have a mostly aurally-triggered memory. So listening to some music takes me back to specific memories or places. The girls claim they don't like Saturday morning music, but they manage to hang around while the music is playing and then disperse when it's done. So I think they like it more than they let on.

Here's how I know I've been enjoying this: last week we forgot to do it. And I really missed it.


*We have our first mayoral primary this week. (Remember when Framingham voted to become a city?) I have to tell you, I am very unsure about who to vote for. It doesn't seem like all that many people qualified for the position. I hate to be the "I could probably do that" guy...but I'm starting to think - I could probably be a mayor. At the very least I could have run for mayor.

*Got a nice taste of fall this week...though I could do without the high temps that have ushered in the official season this weekend. When it's a little chilly and breezy like we had last week....this is my favorite time of the year.

*If you came here from somewhere other than the Facebook page, please give that page a Like! And if you're on Twitter, you can follow me on there. I think I've been tweeting pretty well lately. As always, I appreciate it.