Sunday, February 28, 2010

Roller Skating

We need to go to Wheels more often. Today we skated there for Jane's friend's birthday party and had a good time. Maybe when summer comes.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Miscellany

Local people, I've got two things waiting to leave the house: a Brita Ultra Max dispenser and a regular Brita pitcher. Let me know if you want them.

Rockwood Filling Station has closed. There wasn't enough lunch business. In its place will be the Fish Shack (same owner as Q-Shack), similar to Fishmonger's fare but with a waiterless Q-Shack format and flow. They hope to open at the end of March.

Finally, after all these years, I am still tickled by the word "gubernatorial." Guber, guber, guber.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Coffee

The aroma at Bean Traders always makes me wish I liked coffee, but the smell is so much better than the taste. Here's the owner in a cute little how-to video.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

DPS Evening of Entertainment

Emma has been rehearsing her little buns off. This past week's rehearsal schedule: Tuesday 6 to 8, Thursday 5 to 8, Friday 5 to 9, and Saturday 1:30 to 6. The show started at 7 pm and was a smash. She had the time of her life.

Friday, February 19, 2010

TED

I like watching TED talks online, but if the picture painted by this article is at all accurate, actually attending one of these conferences (if one could afford the price) wouldn't be much fun.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lobby Art

In the lobby where Kimberly works there are some very snappy pieces of pottery.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Love Letters

Every so often the girls leave their little notes lying around. They like to write to each other. Two recent finds:

Dear Jane,
Remember that time that we couldn't decide who was going to go first on the zipline and I just went? I am very sorry about that. It was very rude.
Love,
Emma

Dear Emma,
I just want you to know you are the Best sister ever.
Love,
Jane

Monday, February 15, 2010

Recent Media Review

The Classic Fairy Tales has been entertaining. Jack the Giant Killer is a serious bad-ass who does very violent things to giants. And who knew that in an early text of Sleeping Beauty the only act that would rouse her from her coma was rape by a king.

Yesterday we watched The Lightning Thief, a mythological fairy-tale sort of romp with over-the-top special effects and pretty bad acting. But it was cute. The kids liked it.

Finally, some of my recent online reading: a Guantánamo cover-up and a sugar article.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Two Thoughts

To return for a moment to that old pastime of mulling and contemplating without instantly rushing to the Web to find answers, I was considering two urban legends from my youth:

If the Great Wall were really visible from space, I-95 would be as well, and I don't think it is.

If the human body really did renew itself completely every 7 years, people would lose all their tattoos, and they don't.

A Radio Story

Last week's This American Life episode, "The House on Loon Lake," moved me for many reasons: it's a great mystery tale, it involves young boys getting into things they shouldn't, it's about the mysteries of family history, and it's set in New Hampshire where both my parents were raised (coming to terms with that state's doctrinal obsession with Minding-Your-Own-Business has helped me put my childhood and later life in better perspective).

And the house! An old, old house filled with old, old things. I was captivated. In our own family there are two such houses (one built in the late 1800s, one built in the mid 1700s) that I hope don't go the way of the house in the story. I won't say more. It's an hour-long MP3, just right if you're a commuter or if you're folding laundry.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The ads

The superbowl ads were interesting this year, though a bit heavy on misogyny. The Google ad was the only one I can remember that actually pitched the product.

Today

Sanded, caulked, painted, paid credit card bill, paid phone bill, paid escrow shortage amount for mortgage, vacuumed, did laundry, sifted through and filed some health insurance documents, made it to noon yoga, ate something, and walked around gently while recovering from yesterday's Vibram run (it's the calves that absorb all the impact; they're sore).

Girls got off the bus, piano lessons for both, dropping Emma at carpool in school parking lot at 5:15, coming home to fix dinner, having people over for a vocal sextet rehearsal at 7, picking Emma up in school parking lot at 8:15, coming home to tidy up kitchen and get it ready for tomorrow.

Short phrases today, apparently.

Monday, February 8, 2010

I'm an uncle again

My brother and sister-in-law have a fresh, brand-new baby.

G.I. Fun

I've always wondered if the candle-by-the-toilet trick actually works. Even though I'm not sure, I still use it as I did about an hour ago, because that older daughter of mine gets off the bus each day, comes home, and instantly moves the universe through her bowels. I could go on at length about the smell that floats from the bathroom, down the hall, and into the kitchen, but I won't.

She'd had constipation in her early years (age 3, I think) so badly that a Duke pediatric G.I. doctor put her on polyethylene glycol (a powerful laxative, let me tell you) for a year and a half. It was in the waiting room at that G.I. clinic that I experienced the best overheard spoken line in my entire life. As I was walking to the bathroom I heard a woman saying into her cell phone, "I told you, they're in there now diggin' that mess outta her thing."

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Movies and Sports

If you're like me and you spent many hours in dark arcades as a kid, you'll love The King of Kong.

101 Reykjavik isn't without its bleak moments: I've seen other Icelandic films as well, and if their depiction of life in Iceland is at all accurate (bitter cold, very little daylight, very much booze), I probably wouldn't care to stay there too long. But my thumbs are up for this movie. The people are intriguing, and the main character finally develops some oomph toward the end. I like oomph.

The weather's better now: the free-time transition from movie watching to running in my Vibrams has begun. I'm ready to return to the soccer field, but Emma's intense rehearsal schedule for the big show probably won't allow it until March.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Three Things

Two non-recommendations:

Caché. This was one of these unresolved movies that, you know, "makes you think" without bothering even to hint at answering the dramatic questions set up throughout. In the "making of" feature the director said something like, "Well, real life doesn't always have resolution, so my movies don't either." Even the tasty Juliette Binoche couldn't rescue it. I am pissed.

La cérémonie. The movie has its pleasant moments, but they're upstaged by a completely unlikeable, creepy main character and an abrupt, sloppy ending.

Strong recommendation: Frontline's "Digital Nation." The first part is titled "Distracted by Everything" and features research into multi-tasking. It treats cell phones, Internet, Facebook, Twitter, reading, writing, learning, kids, adults, and bunches of other topics. I enjoyed it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

More Movies

More snow days, so more movies. Strawberry & Chocolate--eh, sort of okay. Snatch--pretty good. I liked Brad Pitt's character best.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Movie Review

Kimberly and I watched an excellent movie last night called Nine Queens (in Spanish with English subtitles), in the style of The Sting and Ocean's 11. Really, really good, I thought. Good plot twists, intrigue and mystery, etc. etc. Occasionally a gun was pulled, and people sort of shoved each other around from time to time, but there was no violence or death. It's one of those movies that would be fun to watch a second time to catch things that jump out when you already know the ending.