It's a sorry state of affairs when three inches of fresh snow makes your road easier to walk on because it covers the six inches of solid ice that have been building up thereby providing more traction when you walk down the road to the bus stop than you've had since the end of January. And as we sit around indoors contemplating life at -13°C we pondering the important things, like why doesn't the word snow rhyme with the word plow?
When I was in college there was this amazing feeling I used to get leaving the campus and stepping off the subway in some part of the city, knowing that no one knew where I was. The idea was rather thrilling since up until that point, for the most part, people knew where I was, or at least where I was supposed to be. The feeling of being part of the crowd was liberating and mysterious. Sometimes I didn't even know where I was riding the subway to myself. Would I get off at Government Center or take the Red Line to Harvard Square? Once I rode to the end of the Green Line only to discover (disappointingly) that Lechmere was just a department store and not some specific part of the city. Now as a species it's like we've gone completely in the other direction. Now we tell everyone where we are every moment of the day. When we're at the movies. When we're out to eat. When we're at the coffee shop or the mall. We text and tweet and post things to Facebook that no one really reads because who cares if you're at the dentist or on a whale watch or having lunch with the queen - what we really want is to talk about themselves and what they are doing. But we all keep on with these posts. We want everyone to know where we are. We want everyone to know who we're with. There's no mystery left. Just tedium. As a college student I found the idea of being anonymous thrilling. Now it seems we find it terrifying.
song: Somewhere Out There • artist: Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram
H and I are watching The Hobbit part 1 and I'm trying, with not much luck, to like it. Forget the added characters, overblown plot, extra fight scenes, and lack of humor - I've read the book several times and it never occurred to me that Thorin was a muscle-bound, hunky-looking dwarf. song: Misty Mountain Hop • artist: Led Zeppelin
Question: I read all the books and watched all the movies (two of them in the theater even) but must I watch Harry Potter movie 7 part 1 again now that H's has read all the books and is up to that movie because - spoiler alert - I don't think I can handle watching Dobby get killed again, it is by far the saddest moment of the entire series. Even sadder is the fact that the spider plant H named Dobby seems to have died as well.
I forgot two. They are Johnny Cash tunes of course. Nothing's more fitting than having the man in black going in your head while you're out doing some physical labor like shoveling snow. If Johnny we're in my front yard I'm sure he'd ask, "How high's the snow drifts Mama?" and I'd reply, "Three feet high and rising." I also kept hearing the refrain "Plow, Plow, Plow" sung to the tune of "Cry, Cry, Cry." You're gonna plow, plow, plow, and you'll plow alone. When everyone's forgotten and you're left on your own. You're gonna plow, plow, plow. But I wasn't left all alone because my kid helped shovel. They want the money. song: How High's the Water Mama? • artist: Johnny Cash
When I headed outside yesterday to start shoveling the latest freshly fallen 10 inches of snow from the driveway, I debated whether or not to bring my iPod along. I didn't and rather than listening to music (what makes for good snow shoveling music? "Working on the Chain Gang?" "Cold as Ice?"), I entertained myself by thing of how various artists would rework their songs after moving to New England. Johnny Cash would sing "Don't take your plows to town, son, leave your plows at home," Johnny Rivers would sing, "Mountain of snow," Peter, Paul and Mary would croon, "If I had a snow shovel," Barry Manilow could sing "Sh*tty Weekend in New England" (and I'd still be a member of his fan club), and then there'd be Donovon: "First there is a Driveway, then there is no Driveway, then there is." Maybe we'd get Vicki Lawrence in for "The Night the Lights went out during a blizzard in Georgia," Aerosmith could drop by for "Big Ten Inch Record Snowfall," and Ian and Sylvia could keep "Four Strong Winds," just the way it is.
song: I Dig Rock and Roll Music • artist: Peter, Paul and Mary
For a while now I've been meaning to take my kids out for Chinese food.
Even though I love my diners, I feel my kids need to branch out beyond ordering hot dogs and pancakes when we go out.
And, really, if anyone's going to introduce them to msg, it might as well be their mom right?
I've mentioned the idea to them before but it's always been met with resistance.
Last week though, I figured out a sure-fire way to sell it to my kids.
"You guys, Let's go out for Chinese food. You can order something called a pu pu platter."
"A poo poo platter? Really?"
Not sure I understand the rationale behind the scented marker.
Were the marker manufacturers just hanging out in the boardroom one afternoon and then one of them says, "So, we got this product, it's for kids and it's not edible. How can we make it more appealing?"
And another one say, "I know! Let's make them smell like delicious foods like lemons and strawberries and chocolate. That will ensure that kids will - try and eat them!"
And everyone says, "Brilliant!"
Not a parent in that room, I can tell you that.
The other night I had this great zen moment while at a performance of "Arsenic and Old Lace." When I have write a review for the paper, I always show up to the show notebook in hand and follow through by scribbling feverishly throughout the performance. C asked my what I write about and I explained that I mostly jot down adjectives describing the performers, the set, and the costumes but that's not entirely true, I also write down dialogue because you need at least one good quote in a review. I once sat next to another reviewer who was taking notes in just the margins of her program! It was very intimidating. When it comes right down to it through I usually don't use much of what I write. Mentally, it just feels safer to take a lot of notes. Anyway, there I was, scribbling away diligently during Act 2 when H accidentally elbows me, causing my pen to shoot out of my hand and disappear onto the darkness of the theater floor. This was after I also explained to C that I usually bring two pens with me to review (In case one runs out), but that tonight I'd only brought one. "What if they both run out?" he asked, when in hindsight the question he should have asked was, "What if a kid knocks the pen out of your hand?" So there I was, without a pen - or a back up pen. The zen moment was when I realized I couldn't take anymore notes for the future and that instead I'd better start experiencing enough of the play in the present that I'd be able to write a decent review. All-in-all the write up went pretty well, and I think I learned an important lesson. But in the future I think I'll still bring two pens. Even if I'm just writing notes on my program. song: Watching the Detectives • artist: Elvis Costello