Tuesday, June 30, 2009

They're *my* shells, dammit!

One of our neighbors leaves miscellaneous decorations on the table in our floor's elevator lobby: a basket of plastic eggs around Easter time, a random fishbowl full of wine corks a few weeks ago, and most recently these two giant bowls full of sea shells.

Apparently, the level in the larger bowl has dropped suspiciously in recent days, because this note appeared on Sunday evening:

Gotta love that smiley face... Looks like we've got a new submission for passiveaggressivenotes.com!

Joker and I haven't quite decided the appropriate course of action... Do we take all the shells and replace them with plastic eggs or wine corks? Do we take the bowls and just leave the shells on the table? Do we just start dropping in chewed up bubble gum and cigarette butts every time we pass by? We simply cannot let this little display of goodwill towards man go unrewarded.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Express train to snoozeville

After the success of the Bug's first concert, we've been pretty stoked to take her to more. The most recent foray was to see mega-star of the preschool set, The Laurie Berkner Band, in New York yesterday afternoon.

While Joker and my dad were off celebrating my brother's upcoming nuptials, my Mom spent the weekend with the Bug and me, and the three of us set off for our big-city adventure yesterday morning. After the unexplained 30-minute delay, we had a very exciting train ride ("We going fast, Mommy!") and lunch at my fave midtown Belgian place before the show. The show started promptly at 1:00pm to rousing applause from all 800+ fans in the house (500 of whom were kids). The Bug was totally engrossed by the goings-on on stage... for about 15 minutes. At which point she fell totally and completely asleep. We tried to wake her up, with no success whatsoever. The parents all around us thought it was hilarious. There was nothing we could do but tap our toes to the kiddie tunes and wait for her to wake up, which she did just in time for the very last song.

Lessons learned here: don't spend much money to take a 2-year-old to anything. Next concert for the Bug will be a return to Gathering of the Vibes - it's free for her, and if she falls sound asleep, at least I won't mind singing along with the music... Hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

When Michael was king

All us kids of the 70s have a memory or two influenced by the King of Pop. Thriller was the first tape I played and replayed until I knew every word front to back, and the first video I remember watching. Michael's unfortunate Pepsi commercial accident was the subject of my first off-color elementary school rhyme. I remember kids in school wearing single, fingerless gloves. But I never correctly understood the lyrics to "Billie Jean" until after college.

Today the world mourns the loss of Michael Jackson, perhaps the biggest pop star of all time. From child star to music video innovator, he dominated the 70s and 80s until pop music turned grunge and left him behind. Dude got very strange in recent years, but that doesn't diminish his place in music and pop culture history. I've spent over an hour looking for the right video to post here, and in the end decided to leave you with a 1971 television performance my favorite Jackson 5 tune, followed by a very odd clip co-starring MJ along with another recently departed soul, Betty White.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Not blogging about work

I've encountered a new blogging challenge the past couple of weeks. Because I am so incredibly busy with work, most of my clever insights and funny stories have been work-related. But because I'm not a total idiot - at least, not in some respects - I won't repeat them here. Hence, the conundrum. What to write about when the topics on your mind are off limits. I've obviously been short on answers this month.

So despite the affirmations contained in the prior paragraph, I'll throw caution to the wind with a very quick anecdote. I just overheard an intern enthusiastically telling someone that "The Proposal was a great movie!" From that statement I understand that she chose to exchange money for the opportunity to see a Sandra Bullock romantic comedy on opening weekend, and that she was happy with said exchange. I can thus conclude she and I have absolutely nothing in common.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Enter the wolverine

I'm somewhat fascinated by wolverines, badgers... any small but deadly mammal that could rip a person's limbs off, really. Coloradoans, beware: the wolverine has returned! One wolverine, to be exact. Specifically, a young male by the name of #M56, is the first wolverine in the state in almost a hundred years. Part of me wishes him well. All of me hopes never to encounter him.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Why, Mommy, why?

I know that kids aren't technically all the same, as evidenced by the Bug's ridiculously good looks and above-average intelligence. But every now and then she is a walking - or talking - stereotype. Two days ago, the "whys" kicked in. She seeks the root cause and will not be satisfied with anything less. Case in point:

Bug: "Where Daddy go?"
Me: "He's in the potty."
B: "Why?"
M: "Because he has to go potty."
B: "Why?"
M: "Because he drank some water earlier."
B: "Why?"
M: "Because he was thirsty."
B: "Why?"
M: "He just was."
B: "... Where Daddy go?"
Let me guess... this phase is not a short one.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Wind-up Bird Chronicle

I've been meaning to read The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Japanese author Haruki Murakami for quite some time, but its length (just over 600 pages) kept me back. I am so glad I finally decided to read it - this is a fascinating book, and it is an impressive showcase of Murakami's skill and imagination.

The protagonist is Toru Okada, 30-ish Tokyo resident with few ambitions, a pretty and successful wife, and a cat who's gone missing. Until Kumiko, his wife, decides to consult a rather odd psychic regarding the cat's disappearance, his days are spent cleaning the house, grocery shopping and cooking their meals, doing the laundry, and trying to decide what next to do with his life. From that point on, however, Okada spends his time searching for the missing cat, and later for his wife, when he's not mulling things over in the bottom of the dry well behind an abandoned house or hanging out with a death-obsessed teenager.

In addition to Malta Kano, the psychic, Okada encounters a whole host of interesting and bizarre allies and antagonists: Malta's sister Creta who also possesses unique mental abilities, an elderly war veteran whose wartime experiences oddly forshadow Okada's own, wealthy Nutmeg Akasaka and her non-verbal son Cinnamon, and Okada's charismatic (and evil) brother-in-law.

Chronicle is incredibly ambitious, and the narrative is captivating. Murakami blends the realms of dreams and reality, the present and the past, and the pages fly. Characters drift in and out of Okada's life, generally without explanation, but somehow it all fits together. If there is a criticism to be made, it is that the ending does leave some strings dangling. With a plot as thick and entangled as this, however, that is hardly unexpected. This isn't the kind of book you expect to tie up neatly in a bow. But it is the kind of book that will take you on a very enjoyable ride.

Up next: To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Quick bloggy update

I realized it's been a long time since my last post, but over a week?? Wow! I'm sure the expectations have been building, and you're really dying to hear the wisdom I impart after a little hiatus, so here goes.

First and foremost, work has really turned up the heat. I have been unbelievably busy. Totally swamped. It's really cool stuff, including the launch of a new channel, but my days are filled with meetings and I still have to get my day-to-day work done... so alas! very little time to blog.

And I had to buy a dress to wear to a couple of weddings. Need I remind you, it had to be a maternity dress. On the plus side, I'm not a cast member in either of my summer weddings - though I'm clearly one of the most highly valued guests, I am not required for photographic immortality. Anyway, the experience was miserable. I went to a higher-end store in the hopes that the pickin's would be decent. I tried on 20 dresses - which is more than I've ever tried on for anything in my life - and bought the one I hated the least. According to my friends at the first wedding, I did not look like a cow, so I'm going to chalk it up as a victory and up the ante with even cuter shoes for the next event.

And finally, a couple of notes on the wedding we went to over the weekend... Congrats, Georgia and Jeff! It was a beautiful outdoor ceremony, the band was fantastic, the food (especially the grilled Greek cheese - where can I get more of that??) was delicious, the Perrier was of the finest vintage, and we could not be happier for our two dear friends. Worlds of happiness to you both - you deserve every minute of it!