Field meets Arndt

You’d think the scribosphere would’ve found this already, but it seems to have flown under our radar.

Screenwriting-advice guru Syd Field is hosting a series of podcasts (oh, how I still detest that word) at a Web site called, appropriately enough, Screen Play with Syd Field.

The first podcast dates to December 18, so it’s hardly new, yet I first learned of the site today. The six podcasts posted so far have Field presenting Michael Arndt, all before Arndt’s Oscar win. I say “presenting” because Field allows Arndt to have his say and merely comments once in a while rather than actively interviewing his guest.

As you might hope from Field’s presence, Arndt holds forth on the hows of screenwriting. It’s an informative resource. Start with the first and use the drop-down menu under the yellow “WATCH MORE CLIPS” headline for the rest of the clips.

Try to ignore the tiny chairs – at times, Arndt looks like he’s in a kindergarten – and Field’s ’80s-style elbow-length jacket sleeves. It’s worth it.

The site kindly offers you a variety of syndication feeds.

Another story of body parts and functions

That was interesting: 11 people, two more people essentially in the home all the time, one bathroom, two varieties of gastrointestinal virus (one going up, the other going down).

The highlight of the weekend was one of those stories that will go down in family lore.

My art-loving brother Jeff was holding our new nephew Matthew during the naming portion of the bris ceremony, after the cutting. I was standing next to him. Jeff mumbled to me, “I think I feel faint.” I believed him, but I didn’t catch the urgency of his situation – he meant “I think I’m going to faint.”

He went pale. He went sweaty. He dropped to one knee. Most people thought he was being… – oh, ceremonious.

Jeff didn’t pass out. But we did take the kid from him and sat him down in a comfy chair. Ten minutes later, he was still sweating.

Over the course of the weekend, grandparents, cousins, and Children Two and Three all vomited. Everybody made it to the lone toilet or a bag except, the last time, in the car on the drive home from Toronto. I was not quick enough with the bag from front seat to middle, and Child Three spewed Child One and me with relatively inoffensive yet virus-laden ex-Nestea iced tea.

Has my immune system trained in the past to fight this virus? Has it wrestled a newcomer virus to the ground? Or will I succumb? Stay tuned….

Bonus thought:

Is it just because I’m getting old that I thought Helen Mirren was kinda hot at the Oscars?

Stress effort, not smarts

I’ll be away for a few days to watch my newest nephew get his tribal ticket punched, but let me leave you with a different tidbit to chew on until I return.

New York Magazine has an article by Po Bronson on recent research into intelligence and motivation in children.

It’s a fascinating article about fascinating conclusions. If you praise children for being smart, they try to continue looking smart and so avoid failure – and avoid challenges that require effort. If you praise children for working hard, they continue to work hard, take on challenges, and succeed more often than children who are told they are smart.

It explains a lot about my life.

Go read.