AOT #79: Robert Fulghum Podcasts What On Earth Have I Done? Stories, Observations, and Affirmations

October 16, 2007 by  
Filed under Book Store Events

Robert Fulghum What On Earth Have I Done?  Stories, Observations, and Affirmations

Robert Fulghum, the bestselling author of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten and numerous other books, discusses What On Earth Have I Done? Stories, Observations, and Affirmations. This wonderful new collection is an armchair tour of everyday life as seen by Fulghum, one of America’s great essayists, a man who has two feet planted firmly on the earth, one eye on the heavens and, at times, a tongue planted firmly in his cheek.

($22.95) St. Martin’s ISBN # 0-312-36549-7. You can visit Robert Fulghum’s official web site as well.

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9 Responses to “AOT #79: Robert Fulghum Podcasts What On Earth Have I Done? Stories, Observations, and Affirmations”
  1. Kurt says:

    Thanks for the podcasts – another wonderful hour spent in your delightful store with fascinating folks!

  2. Karen says:

    I wanted to email Robert Fulghum to thank him for making me cry and laugh at the same time more than once in What on Earth Have I Done? I’ve had the pleasure of sharing a couple of the chapters with classes at the end of this semester. And just now, on a dash home between grading stacks of final papers, eating, feeding Mr. Rogers (the betta I inherited from a college student about a month ago) and not chatting online with a friend in Brazil, I laughed and cried again with a burst of insight too sharp to keep all to myself. If he doesn’t get this, perhaps you will. ‘Players’ reminded me that all I’ve ever wanted was my species to come out and play with each other in much the same way he defines it here. It has seemed for far too long that we have gotten distracted and worse, disinterested in coming out of our mental silos and turrets to play with one another such games as require neither winners nor losers. Well, much more and much less to be said about any of this. For now, I’ll simply wish one and all a blessed season of lights and note that there are plenty of us – players who are not slow, but silent from no fault but conditioning. Our response exists as truly as we do. It’s just not apparent in the same moment as the invitation to play is extended. Innywho, thanks if you do and if you don’t get this to him.

  3. Captain Nenad Mogic says:

    Mr. Fulghum (I will be polite to you although you have lots to learn about politeness and diplomacy in life),

    My name is Nenad Mogic ( yes, indeed a real Croatian name –I swear too- which I am sure you will never be able to pronounce it). I have been Captain on the ships for many years by now and in regards the article you have written a while ago (which some people are obligated to read it just by searching), I strongly believe that you should have studied the Maritime School before or even more, you should have learned to respect all nationalities around this world if you decided to take a cruise.

    Despite of the fact you are able to speak only one language and that is English, you do dare to criticize in a way or another the crewmembers who speak more languages than English, but with an accent and this is a sign of disrespect, meanness and jealousy.
    Compares with you Mr. Fulghum even I was not a Norwegian Captain as you expected me to be, I do speak fluently Croatian, English, Italian, Spanish and a bit of other languages as well. Plus, it looks like I did study more Grammar English as you did in the past by reading this article.

    But, this is not my point, definitely. The point of this reply to your article is very simple and hopefully, you will get it eventually. I am not writing this because you do “deserve” a reply, I do write it for the people reading this article as indeed they deserve my comments as well.

    Since you are more knowledgeable in terms of ships, barges, speed, distance and speeches for passengers in case of incidents, then I would really suggest you to take an exam for Maritime School (hopefully in another life you will get a Master License, if not possible during this life) get on the Bridge and start driving a ship, handle the marine operation as well as the management team. And I would also suggest you before to attend the CARE Training where you could learn a lot about sensitive words that you can or can not use via PA System for your clients (in this case, passengers).

    So Mr.Fulghum if I would have said via PA System “You’ve just heard the signal for the abandon ship, instead of the joke of the cruise” we touched a barge”, you might have had a heart attack and today, I would not have read your article. So, instead of that, you were able to enjoy a show with Coast Guard, Navy, Harbor Pilots, etc. Typical recognized style: instead of thinking of the facts which caused this incident and also maybe consequences, the brain just suggested to you criticism and humor which I can tell you, it is very sad as that can say a lot about your education and mentality ( despite of your age).

    Writing such articles about Captains of the ships, people who holds a responsibility in a just a cruise for sure more than you ever had in your entire life, brings me to the point of saying that just because this world become more and more artificial, people do not have respect anymore for the jobs, for people who sacrificed their lives and went through several experiences in order to be on command.
    A Captain, Mr. Fulghum is never assigned to a ship by falling down from the sky, but by years and years and experience. A Captain, Mr.Fulghum never leaves under cover, but also not as a VIP on the red carpet as you probably expected, giving the pleasure of a show to the people like you!

    But, at the end of the day, by all means, you said the ticket was so so cheap for the cruise, therefore you are right: “what the hell!” it does represent what you are looking for, right?!?…. What you can expect and why are you commenting about? Isn’t that ironically? So, for the future, I advise you when you take a cruise, please read more about ships, electrical systems, speed, ports, schedules, weather and Captains. As you do criticize everything and everybody, it seems like or you are the most knowledgeable one or this is just not a place for you!
    With the risk of repeating myself, the whole article and also the vocabulary you used describes very well your character…..I might have had at that time “on my neck” e-mails, pictures and a whole show ( thanks to the people like you), but I stepped out the ship with a bunch of years as a very experienced Master, a head on my shoulder, a brain to think, to weight the things and appreciate people around me and a heart which will always remember passengers who miss me today and will always have passion for the sea. All these mentioned above, unfortunately, you will never experience!

    Master Capt. Nenad Mogic

  4. Mr. Fulghum:
    I cannot believe the truly unkind remarks you wrote about Captain Nenad Mogic. We have sailed with him several times on the Norwegian Cruise Line. He is a good, caring, kind, and thoughtful human being. It does not take a genius to know why he used the term “touched”. Later in your own words you told about passengers showing up in life jackets after the power failed on the ship. If Captain Mogic had come over the PA using the word “hit” or “collision” no telling what would have happened but it would have been serious. We have read (something you should do) about the incident and it seems pretty clear that there was no way to avoid what happened. The barge was floating freely in the middle of a very narrow channel. We have seen the mud that is stirred up in that area so we know it is very shallow in that area. If the ship had been able to go to either side they would have done that. But doing so would have risked a “Titanic” type damage. Then you would have had to leave your laptop on board while you went over board! Well, that would have prevented you from writing your very mean-spirited comments but very likely lives would have been lost. Thankfully, Captain Mogic knew what was best for everyone on board. You are lucky to have been on a ship being guided by such a competent person like Captain Nenad Mogic.

    I know about the book that you wrote “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”. If I never learned anything else about you except what you wrote in that book I would have a wonderful impression of you as a person and as a human being. Unfortunately, recently I learned about the man you have become since you forgot everything you ever learned in kindergarten. How sad for all of us. But mostly, how sad for you. You have forgotten everything you ever learned about being a good, caring, kind, and thoughtful human being. I read your very mean spirited remarks about the cruise you were on in December of 2007. In your futile attempt at humor you hurt a great many people. I was not on board that cruise. I was on board that same ship the morning that you got on board. My journey ended the morning your journey began. I am considered a senior citizen. I might or might not “clip coupons.” But if I do, maybe I am just doing the best that I can with my limited resources. Sounds like you don’t have that issue so you think it is ok to slam or poke fun at those less advantaged than yourself. When it come to being good, caring, kind, and thoughtful human being I’ll take the coupon clippers over snobs like you any day of the year. Shame on you…..you are old enough to know better. You are a senior! Maybe you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth. Or like Ann Richards said “a silver foot in your mouth”.

    You made a big deal about the ship being registered in the Bahamas. You didn’t know that cruise ships are registered outside the U. S.?? Where have you been? There are all registered somewhere else.

    Then you make fun of the fact that ship was not full of Norwegians. Again, where have you been??? So, do you think that Holland America has a crew from Holland? Do you think that Carnival is full of circus clowns? Do you think that there is Ferris wheel and a roller coaster on the Disney ships? What about celebrities on Celebrity? I never saw any royalty on Royal Caribbean.

    By the way, practically no one in this day has a VCR. AND I am willing to bet that if they did they would not bring it on a cruise ship! Perhaps you should join the “Geriatric Gadget Brigade” so you learn something!!

    I hope Captain Aage Hoddevik sues for your mean spirited remarks about him.

    I will sum this up by saying that Robert Fulghum has forgotten everything he learned in kindergarten. Worse yet he hasn’t learned nearly enough about being a good human being.

    You owe Captain Mogic, Dream Crew Members, passengers and NCL an apology. We will check back now and then to see if you have the courage to do the right thing.

    Vic and Judi Vreeland

  5. Debra Dyer says:

    Captain Aage Hoddevik was the Captain on a cruise I was on and I found him to be a true gentleman and if I say so a gorgeous looking man.

  6. Judith Kramer says:

    Dear Robert Fulghum,

    I just wanted to tell you that I picked up your book, “What On Earth Have I Done” today at of all places, A Dollar Store. It was my first visit to a dollar store, and you must know that it was meant to be that I found you. I put aside everything else I was supposed to do today, just read your book, and am up to page 195. You’re my kind of guy. Someone who believes, as I do, in laughing. I’m a big laugher, and I haven’t come across many people, since my move from Chicago to Tucson, who laugh. Sad, isn’t it? I make it a personal challenge to get them to laugh out loud at something I’ve said or have done. What’s up with this? When reading your book, I was laughing out loud, and saying to myself (because there isn’t anyone here to say it to), “That Robert Fulghum, he’s the man . . . he’s my guy! Then, I Googled you, trying to find a way to write to you to tell you how much your book did for me. Wisdom and laughter are a great combination. And then I went to your website, and was fascinated to find that you’re a painter as well as a writer. I love your paintings. They really touched me. I’m a writer and a painter too, and love embracing both. Please add a part to your website where one can click on “contact,” so readers can let you know that they’re right there with you. But, maybe you don’t care to use computers. Do you ever get to Tucson? I’m a member of the Society of Southwestern Authors, and wondered if you have ever considered being a guest speaker at one of the Society’s monthly meetings.
    Sincerely,
    Judith

  7. Noel Hayden says:

    Dear Mr. Fulghum,
    I met you in 2007 when you came into Peet’s Coffee on Queen Anne. I served you coffee there. I am embarrassed to say I didn’t know who you were when I saw you, but I instantly declared ‘are you a writer?’ I could tell from your long green trench coat and leather gloves. Maybe you reminded me a little of Ernest Hemingway too. You didn’t know if I was messing with you, and if I really knew who you were. You wrote down your name and when I looked you up later, is when I realized who you are. You are my boyfriend’s favorite author, and I began to read your stuff. You are quite funny.
    I just published an ebook on Amazon.com, and would be so grateful if you would read it!
    It was uncanny and fun meeting you. I hope you enjoy my work as much as I have enjoyed yours~
    http://www.amazon.com/Gulf-Love-ebook/dp/B0069RNKZ0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1322533075&sr=8-1

  8. cathy costa fusca says:

    dear mr. fulghum, do you thinkyour band would like to perform n the pittsbugh,columbus day parade? it is our 27 th annual, and the event date is OCT.6, 2012 11 a.m. please facebook or e mail me. thank you so much. p.s. i have read 4 of your books…over and over and over. I need to buy your others. i love reading your stories on the website monthly. sincerely, cathy costa fusca

  9. Gary M Doyle says:

    “I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.”

    A friend recently sent me this quote and attributed it to you, Robert Fulgham. I first came across this quote about 20 years ago and my source said “anonymous.” Did you, Robert Fulgham say this or has it incorrectly been attributed to you?
    Thanks in advance for your response.
    Gary Doyle

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