Wednesday, February 28, 2007

We went to Florida

Kid stories

The cuteness lately has been in just leaving them alone and watching how they interact.

They run after one another and wrestle like puppies sometimes, or sometimes they'll sit together and flip through a book "reading" to one another.

Mari fell down the other day and Austin asked if she was okay and offered to kiss her to make her better. And then last week at dinner I was trying to persuade Mari to eat more and then Austin stepped in:

"Mari, do you want some dessert? Will you eat some broccoli first?" She eats some broccoli. "Will you eat some carrot?" She shakes her head. He runs around the table, stabs a piece of carrot with her fork and feeds it to her.

And then this morning, Julie reports that Austin showed off the giant Lego robot he made last night. "Look what I made, Mari!"

Mari ran over to him, hugged him and said, "Good job!"

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Dumb Art History PhDs

So it turns out the juror from the Scooter Libby case who didn't understand what "avoid media about the case" means is an "art curator" with a "PhD" according to NPR reports yesterday. Dum like rox. This is why we get mocked by Click and Clack, people!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007



I'm shoving the last picture of the kids off the front page of my blog. I'll have to remedy that.

But first.

I have to admit I had ulterior motives for that post last week, the one about books about games.

This is the motive: B-list celebrity stalking.

I don't really care about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston and all those people. They don't seem like real people anyway (or rather, what I know about them is probably about as real as a silicon breast). Also they have doofy celebrity couple names like "Brangelina."

However, I'm fascinated by couples who are under the mass media radar. Like Bob Harris and Jane Espenson. Bob wrote Trebekistan and Jane writes for TV, and also a blog about writing for TV. One huge thread in Trebekistan is the love story of Bob trying to find someone like Jane. And now I know that the first day they met she was the first person to recognize his Jeopardy buzzer simulator (a ball point pen with click removed and covered in masking tape to get the weight right) for what it was and they spent the day drinking champagne and making up names for the thing. I also now know that Jane used to name things for a living and is responsible for "Zima" (Bob doesn't write that straight out in the book but how many other carbonated alcoholic beverages rhyme with "Squeema"?)

Celebrity couple name: "Bane" or "Job."

Okay, the thing is, I'm reading the book because Jane's blog recommended it. That's not quite so fascinating.

Much better is the secret thrill I get on Friday afternoons when Stefan Fatsis talks about sports and the business of sports on NPR's All Things Considered. The thrill being, he's married to Melissa Block! They never put them on together for that reason, I'm guessing. Fatsis writes in Word Freak about meeting local New York radio journalist Melissa Block and getting together. At that point Melissa was mostly just known to listeners of WNYC but then she got a kickass promotion and thereby giving me a secret thrill each week.

Celebrity couple name: "Stelissa" or "Mefan." Even better: "Blotsis." (Last option not suitable for family blogs.)

See that's better because I knew about them separately and then it turned out they got together. Also, because they work in different media. However, I have to admit, I probably paid attention to Fatsis' book because I knew him from the radio.

Similarly, and on the radio, Terry Gross is married to Francis Davis. Davis writes jazz reviews (and books, like this one on my shelf) and I started reading his work before I ever listened to NPR, I think. And I always wondered why he didn't appear on Fresh Air since Terry is such a jazz fan. And of course, now I realize one reason why she has such good taste in music and people to profile -- Davis must have some influence on her.

Celebrity couple name: "Tancis" or "Frerry" (both very awkward, unless he goes by "Frank" or "Fritz" in which case: "Tank" or another unsuitable option).

Here's a weird one: Michael Lewis, author of Liar's Poker [sorry, you have to click through to see how ugly this new cover is] and Moneyball, is married to Tabitha Soren (boy what a bad Wikipedia stub), of MTV news fame. I was probably reading his book and getting the news from her at the same time! I have no idea how they met, so this makes it even more odd. She's working as a photographer now, by the way.

Couple name: "Mabitha." There is no other choice.

Oh, and he wrote about the father's role in the birth of his children in Slate here and here and more. (Cliffs Notes version: shut up and get out of the way.)

Okay, now that my unhealthy obsession is revealed, look for more posts on this unhealthy topic.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


We're leaving for Orlando on Thursday (and by we, I mean me and the kids -- Julie's working and won't join us in Florida until next Tuesday). That means this week I've been going nuts buying anything I can think of to distract the children on the plane. I know, I could bring a portable DVD player, but considering I need to bring diapers, change of clothes and snacks, the machine won't fit in the backpack and I refuse to bring a huge bag (well, a big duffle to check in, but not a big carry on).

So here are some of the things I bought: comic books (Simpsons and Mickey Mouse), magic coloring books (those things where you use a marker that brings the color out of the paper), a Superman action figure, a little dog that laps at a baby bottle, a book of crossword puzzles for myself and three Little Golden Disney picture books and one modern one.

The reason for all this Disney hyping is that the kids haven't really been exposed to much Disney -- Pixar, yes, but not Disney proper. And they will need to know the iconography for our trip. So I quiz them to identify Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and we've been reading Peter Pan, Dumbo and Cinderella to them. Mari LOVES Cinderella. As soon as you finish reading it she says, "Again!" Austin loves Peter Pan and the pirates.

BTW, the Little Golden books have stiff covers and the artwork is really beautiful, painted with lots of beautiful details like Tinkerbell flying around the margins. The Cinderella, in contrast, is a modern Random House edition, with a paper cover and drawings that look like cels drawn in South Korea by 12 year olds. Talented 12 year olds, but they can't compare. Oh, and the Little Goldens were half the price of the crappier Random House ($2 to $4 at the New England Mobile Book Fair).