Thursday, February 15, 2007


Snow Day Blogules

Fragments jotted down while playing with the kids...

- Brushes with Fame, no. 1: Sen. Chris Dodd, D-CT. I met Senator Dodd at a fundraiser several years ago. A family friend introduced us. He said to me – this is absolutely true, and I remember it well -- “where's the bar?”

- Brushes with Fame, no. 2: Henry Rollins. I met HR during my halcyon days as a college radio dj. He and I had an extended, and quite pleasant, conversation in which we discussed our mutual love of Miles Davis' Theme from Jack Johnson. He also told me about a time John Lee Hooker tried to pick up his girlfriend.

- Quoth The Girl, beaming proudly: “I wipe mine boogers with mine sock!”

- Every girlfriend I ever had for long enough to use the term 'girlfriend' was left-handed. The Wife, too, is left-handed. I attribute this to a semi-conscious desire for my future male progeny to be left-handed, since left-handed pitchers don't even have to be good to make the big bucks. The Boy is right-handed. God has a sense of humor.

- I'm thinking of starting an internet petition to the companies that make clothes for toddlers and young children. “We, the undersigned, beseech you to please, for the love of all that is good, make the neckholes big enough that you can take the shirt off the kid without inflicting major cranial trauma.” Kids' heads are proportionately larger, relative to their bodies, than adults'. You'd think shirtmakers would have figured that out by now. We don't even try turtlenecks anymore.

Oh my! The television thing is great.

My 13 year old son tried to make a call last year and he was very confused by the sound on the other end. He asked me why the phone was making that strange noise. I asked him what kind of noise? He didn't know. So I listened.

A busy signal. In this age of call waiting and voicemail, he had never heard a busy signal before.
The Straight Man quote killed me! I often ask our Liberal Arts faculty what is the color the sky in the world they live in.
Oh man, Straight Man is one of my favorite books of all time. My dad gave it to me as a gift when I decided to start grad school to become a career academic ...
I do hope you have told The Boy about how we used have to change channels by *gasp* getting up and turning a knob on the television. Older people also used to palm this job off on the youngest people in the room . . .

Then there was the joy of getting proper reception with the antennas . . .
On shirts - are your kids too big for the shirts that have snaps up the side of the neck? We went through two of those yesterday in the snow. Easy access and warm.
The Midwestern Scandinavian therapist bit is so right...

We are proud of our repression...
Chloe makes 24 bearable. She's like some Brechtian meta-character who strayed from a mediocre sitcom into the hyperbolic, hyperbaric, overwrought fantasy torture world that is 24. Her single expression--bored exasperation--is the only sane reaction to both her character's situations and the show generally.

Chloe completes me.
Straight Man is the best therapy for academics who have a smidgen of humor left in their bureaucratically beaten bodies.
the neckholes! my daughter's are all either restrictive enough that she cries putting them on or off because I'm about pulling her ears off or they are a flexible material, but completely stretched out beyond recognition from pulling them over her giant toddler noggin. its. so. irritating.
"'Have you considered whining less, and perhaps walking it off?'"

That's one of the Habits of Highly Effective People that Garrison Keillor hails in Homegrown Democrat. Others: Everybody Else is Just as Cold, and Don't Be a Noise With Legs.
My friend's daughter, upon learning that when her parents were children they had to go to movie theaters to watch movies, thought seriously for a moment, and then asked, "Did you have lights?"
Brush with fame: I was on a debate team with the current Drug Czar. Also met Bobby Kennedy.

We had a TV channel that was split between two stations! Educational TV (college public station) during the day and NBC at night.

24 could be improved a lot by having the star prosecuted for war crimes. Might also help our image overseas.

You can probably tell I am a midwestern scandinavian by one of my replies to SecondLine's comments (or were they trolls?).
Tsk-tsk, cc. As far as the famous go, I used to live two houses down from Kristin Hersh and I went to school with Amy Mann.
I shook hands with Hubert Humphrey when I was a teen. I was too nervous to say anything.
I am left-handed. My husband is left-handed. Both our children are right-handed. It's the fun with statistics!

As for the Midwestern Scandinavian bit? It's why I'm a historian, not a therapist!
Brush with fame:

I was on the stairmaster next to Barney Frank's stairmaster at the Metropolitan Health Club in Boston. On the TV in front of our group of stairmasters, a reporter for the ABC Evening News was interviewing Frank about President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. On the TV, Frank was wonderfully acerbic in his criticism of the Southern Republican Congressional leadership. On the stairmaster next to me, watching himself interviewed, he was sweating because his workout time was nearly finished.
I am here to brag that two of my boys are left-handed.

We only get six channels on our television right now. But we do have ... er, seven computers in the house when the college kids are home.
I don't know whether my favorite part of Straight Man is hte beginning, where he gets hooked by a clip board, or the end, where he pees on his colleagues.

Finding "Straight Man" was one of the most wonderful moments of my life. I think the bit with the goose may have been the best part of the book for me, TR, though the opening with the notebook also was priceless.

As a student and faculty member at big state schools, I also loved reading Jane Smiley's "Moo." My fav. moment of that book is the interdisciplinary meeting, where everyone applies the theories of their field to analyze their colleagues. The psychologists and English professors are especially funny.
If the Boy is seeking further surprises, I can show him my LP collection, which is near the remote-less black-and-white TV. I think I even have some 78's in the closet. The TV has an antenna on top, and a DVD/VCR attached in back for both function and comic effect.

My right handed brother and sister-in-law have a son the Boy's age who is a budding left-hander. My brother and I try to encourage this by playing catch left-handed with him. It's quite a sight, especially if we're using a football.

Straight Man -- what a great book. I was taken by the quotes about the power of a chair unfazed by others' impressions and enabled by a competent secretary.
Straight Man!
I should go re-read that to console myself for my unemployed state.
The Midwestern Scandinavian bit caught me right in the funnybone. I bellylaughed, and boy did it feel good. I'm going to print that off and start handing it out to my coworkers (and also going to check out Garrison Keilor...)
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