Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Bear Story

The grand finale of Mr. Librarian's long, luxurious (for me) vacation between jobs was this play that he and the boys wrote and performed while I was at work on Saturday.

Synopsis: The Bear (Mr. Librarian) awakes in his cave. As he emerges, he steps on a thorn, then stumbles around, maddened with pain. Mistaking his agonized roars for aggression, the Hunter (Big Man) encourages his friend the Deer (the orange coat rack) to attack Bear, and the Woodsman (Mr. Three) chops down a tree in such a way that it will fall on poor Bear.

The Hunter is about to administer the coup de grace with his bow and arrow (wire hanger) when he notices the thorn in Bear's paw. He asks the Woodsman to take it out. Bear is so relieved and happy that he invites everyone back to his cave for a party, where they dance to the All Mighty Senators' cover of Should I Stay or Should I Go and drink mango juice.


Monday, February 26, 2007

Gypsies, tramps and thieves

So, I liveblogged the Oscars. I'm that kind of person now. I admit, it was kind of fun, although the targets were not, so to speak, broad. I'll say it - the show was boring.

The frocks were like tasteful bridesmaid gowns - somebody told them to start wearing colors, so they all wore variations in solid colors just like they picked 'em out of a catalog and ordered dyed-to-match shoes.

Nobody fell down, nobody did or wore anything egregiously stupid that I saw... you know, I miss Cher.

The show? Boring too. Of the top awards, only surprise was Alan Arkin, and you just can't begrudge him. Ellen? SO boring. The most daring thing she said was that Dame Judi Dench was off getting her boobs done. And she changed clothes 3 times with color variations merely! A hat? A tux jacket? Rhinestones? Throw us a bone!

I kept dreaming of ways they could gimmick it up and sabotage the careful preparations of the famous people: the rehearsed small talk, the risk-free dress... have it outside, I thought. Or blindfold everybody. Short improv exercises assigned the winners and the presenters, like quickie Whose Line Is It Anyway? games. Ooh, maybe they could have Drew Carey host! No, Christ, he'd want to dance.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Rewind me and play me again

You didn't actually think I was going to liveblog the Oscars, did you? What kind of a shallow, friendless feeb do you take me for?

I'm not friendless. I got Mr. Three sitting by me on the couch. Just now he asked "Is that Tavis Smiley?" No little boy that's Eddie Murphy, whom Baltimoreans still mistakenly call Eddie Murray. God knows who he thinks Barbara Walters is.

Leonardo diCaprio, jeez who'd'a guessed he'd end up less handsome than Ben Affleck?

Naomi Watts' boobs look terrible in the strapless. She's the girlfriend of my old friend Jenny's cousin Liev, who in school was called Baba Hagen Dasz because he'd lived on an ashram with his parents for a while and got renamed something very silly.

Shame about Jennifer Hudson's little jacket. It's gonna give her one of those weird sunburns like the penguins in Madagascar.

Anne Hathaway, whoa that black bow sucked up against her chest and why? It's not exactly a big succulent target.

Holy crap though how does Penelope Cruz always look so fantastic? She has a lazy eye and a broken nose but even Three says, "Look at that girl, she's so beautiful!"

Jada Pinkett Smith has joined the throng of celebrity children's book authors. Her book isn't bad at all (unlike Jason Alexander's, something really cringey about the tooth fairy). Her gold dress is phenomenal.

Cameron Diaz is wearing a bib and forgot to brush her hair. But Three likes her too.

Lord look at the lumpy torso on Eddie Murphy's date. Must be the dress because there's no way that girl is flabby.

Once again the British women look like winners. Cate Blanchett and Helen Mirren both look stunning, and they got their hair did, unlike half the Americans.

Well Kate Winslet could have had her roots touched up. And light green, oo tough color. But the girls are adequately supported and comfortable-looking -- am I completely obsessed with famous boobs? What's wrong with me?

Dame Helen is wearing false eyelashes! More people should. And speaking of support, jesus how does a torso that old look that fantastic?

The opening sequence looked neat. How would I know because my family was playing the New York Architecture game 3 feet away and crowing about every building they recognized. Lincoln Center is "Peter Venkman's place" to them, because of Ghostbusters.

Urg, white shoes, even white cowboy boots, oh, Ellen. She should have had a Nudie suit made. Jeez how weird, she's beginning to look exactly like, oh who is that blonde character actress with the big toothy overbite and the short upper lip who's not Edie Falco or Felicity H. Muffman?

Oh Christ the little girl is wearing an ARBOR. A garden fence? I see cute fancy dresses for little girls ALL the TIME and think "Why do I have only boys?" and then I remember, oh, yeah I'd be terrified if I had a girl. She or Dakota Fanning or Drew Barrymore could wear ANYTHING from the Chasing Fireflies catalog and not look weird, but they must go out of their way to find something icky for the little girls to wear.

Gospel singers. The Europeans are all like, "Who are these people in the dresses?"

Oh hold on Daniel Craig. Aaak and Nicole looking all strangeled. Nobody tighten that thing, her head will fall off. Daniel Craig looks like Kirk Douglas when he smiles - he shouldn't smile.

Maggie Gyllenblahblah's dress makes her shoulders look like a swimmer's. Although there she is correctly pronouncing "densitometer" again - a thousand geek boys just spontaneously ejaculated.

I'm easily over Will Ferrell. Without Cheri Oteri and a cheerleader outfit he just makes me flinch. But it's nice that he and Jack Black can actually sing. We finally saw School of Rock a month ago and ok it was ok. Peter O'Toole can't actually hear them but if he did he still wouldn't get it. I love clueless British people.

God and Abigail Breslin's dress also has a HOOP. That poor little girl. And somebody did her hair like she's 30. But cripes Will Smith's little boy is BeYouTiFul. The Jolie Pitt baby has a long way to go to top him. Ha Will Smith looked so geeky when the kid flubbed, nice to see a real dad looking like a dad.

Wow the guy who made West Bank Story is gorgeous. Maybe he's too smart to be an actor.

The Sound Effects Choir, they should have their own show! How do you get involved in that kind of thing? Are they the kid in high school who could make that water drop sound with his cheek and who decided to run with his strength? What crawled up Beyonce's torso and is trying to infest her hair?

Jessica Biel. Jiggly.

Jodie Foster. Grow your hair.

Gwyneth Paltrow. Still snotty-looking.

Rachel Weisz. Brush your hair except I think I might be the only one looking at you above the neck.

Djimon Hounsou. Whoo.

Alan Arkin wins Best Supporting and you gotta figure it's partly for the In-Laws. Wears the bald head almost as well as Djimon Hounsou. Nicholson doesn't.

Pilobolus? Why don't they just get Mummenschanz and get it over with?

Al Gore, if he'd had a sense of humor and a smile when he was running for president - oh I forgot, he did win. There we go, Leonardo diCaprio did that thing with his eyebrows, I guess he's still attractive after all.

Oh, Peter O'Toole got a joke! Way to go old man!

I just swallowed my tongue. Someone has used This is the Day by The The in a tv ad. Possibly my favorite song of all time. I'm not sure how I feel about this. Me and Nancy (and Liblif the Librarian) were the only ones in the world who still loved The The. UPDATE: It's an M&M's ad, something about how M&M's are like a lifestyle or something.

Ok welcome back Ellen. Who IS that actress she's looking like, she always plays moms and really polite women? WEIRD.

Oops Cameron Diaz's bib got rumpled. What HAS she been up to backstage? I'm guessing Marky Mark. He's looking pretty good and he's got that nice deep voice.

Do you think that's Ben Affleck's original nose? It's littler than Cate Blanchett's. Too small, judging from his strangly voice.

I wonder how much Tom Hanks paid Rudy Giuliani to borrow his lips?

Wes Anderson's AmEx ad more fun than anything yet this evening. Except for The Bear Show, that was classic.

I know who AngerHangover is rooting for in Costume - her Ikette obsession means she's going to wait for the Dreamgirls models in a back alley and strip them naked. What she does after she steals their dresses is between them.

Me I was going for Patricia Field but mostly because I used to shop there. I wear drag queen sizes. Of course Milena Canonero won, god just the work that must have gone into those Marie Antoinette costumes... and I love a woman who can wear a tux that well.

Alert! Tom Cruise! Hey, sans bangs! Did someone wrestle him to the floor with a can of hairspray? Maybe that's what Cameron Diaz was doing to get so rumpled.

Sherry Lansing has had a stroke? And forgot to get her eyebrows done? Penelope Cruz's ma is chewing gum? There's a moth in here? Something has gone entirely awry. Who names their kids Cedric and Jack?

Ha ha, Gwyneth and Nicole showed up wearing the same wig! And Gwyneth is still smoking, even with the kid(s), listen to that voice. Plus even Mr. Librarian thinks there's something wrong with her breasts in that dress. Can it be true? Am I not the only one checking out the celeb boobies tonight?

Robert Downey! Can we get some twitching? Ah good, thanks. Mr. Librarian thinks Naomi Watts is a looker. I can't get past the thought of her and the giant scowling Jenny-cousin and wondering if that's what happened to her tits. Yay the pirate movie won something! What? I wasn't paying attention, I was looking at Robert Downey's profile and fondly remembering him dying in the convertible driving past the wind farm.

Catherine Deneuve's boob is masquerading as the stone in the King Arthur legend. Is that actually a trickle of blood embroidered down her gown? Dag, she looks wonderful and that dress is MESMERIZING. Why doesn't everybody who has to go to one of these things find something that interesting?

Clive Owen, mmm. Still, did you consider maybe a tie? and a haircut?

I'm with Heather and Jessica. The interpretive dance stuff is actually frightening, and reminds me of the 80's when I first started watching this drivel.

Jennifer Hudson possibly the only woman in the UNIVERSE who would ignore George Clooney on her way off the stage. What's that, little man? oh you got that envelope for me? sure I'll take that, and could you get me a Diet Coke?

Eva Green's teeth are still crooket, and what's with all the eyeliner and the scowl? Hair like Anne Boleyn. Dress like she's been buried a while and dug back up. Is she Dutch? She said "pooverty". Am I jealous because she was Daniel Craig's Vesper Lynd? Doesn't excuse that hair.

Oh god I just laughed at Jerry Seinfeld. The evening is Just Not Funny. Except Al Gore holding an Oscar - that's kind of funny, in a Governor Schwarzenegger kind of way.

Motherfucking soupy-ass Celine Dion. I'm going outside in the freezing cold to smoke a cigarette. I can take a lot but not that.

[inhale. exhale.]

Hey I just saw a little bunny rabbit hopping through the snow! Nicotine and a bunny: antidote administered. I can carry on.

And bonus: they toss me Hugh Jackman! Plus Penelope in her terrific dress. And Park Heights' own Philip Glass. The BSO is finally playing Philip Glass this weekend and he couldn't be there because he had to strap on the tux and go to LA. So, he didn't win, the guy who played that crazy lute thing deserved it I'm sure.

Dr Sunken Tits acquitting herself well - although the dress is odd and does nothing to assist those tits, at least it's not patently homelessesque and it's nice and fluffy when she walks - but she should have tied Tobey McGuire down and shaved his face. He's little, she could have.

Hennifer Lopez is trying out a dignified, grownup dress with a shitload of jeweled hardware, but you can still see her nipples. Sigh.

And now WHY didn't Jennifer Hudson wear that red dress all night? That brown one had POCKETS, and the straps cut the hell out of her. Heh - Beyonce can swing that overskirt and flail around all she wants, her skinny torso is never going to upstage Jennifer H's boobs. Prize goes to Third Girl though - now THAT is a dress. AND a hairdo.

Queen Latifah has also written a children's book, this one involving basketball. Our friend Pat, who records her, attested that she is actually a totally fierce basketball player: recording an album in Florida, they'd all play basketball on breaks, and she and her girlfriends routinely destroyed the all-boy team of producers and engineers.

God and a Wendy's ad to Blister in the Sun. What's next? Husker Du advertising the Gap?

Always love the dead-people montage. I'm so out of touch. Maureen Stapleton died? Jack Warner? But... didn't Jodie wear that same dress a couple years ago? I suppose you have to admire thrift, but, uh...

No, what's next is the Pogues selling Cadillacs. On the Sunny Side of the Street. If I shook my head any harder it would fall off.

Helen Mirren. See above RE: boobs looking good, being British a plus.

Dayum look at Reese Witherspoon's hair! Wowza, long straight blonde hair and a black top is a really nice look, I gotta remember that - oh wait.

Forest Whitaker, I have to say it, I shed a little tear and all, but by god that is one weird-looking dude.

Big fat lovefest for Scorsese, they loaded it up by having Spielberg, Lucas and Coppola present it. Jeez if a bomb hit that stage maybe we'd be spared all these friggin men men men movies. I'm sure The Departed is a fine movie, ah, see that, it won Best Picture. But gads that's a lot of boys.

Say Good Night.

Ready for the big one

Oh, the wires and the software and the network connections and all that snaky crud. I have this frustrating relationship with all of it.

On the one hand, I am better at it than I have any right to be, as a stone Reservie, with anthropology and Greek and art history and museums as my entire background - no reason that such a person should be able to construct databases and troubleshoot network connections. On the other hand, since my abilities entirely come from lateral thinking and reading the manual, as opposed to training, sometimes I am really crap at it.

This week both happened. Friday, at one of my part-time gigs, I forgot how to restore a database in SQL, which I used to do all the time and which entails mostly following directions. Standing in a freezing server room confronted with a raw mdb, I had no idea what to do with it. Wrestle it to the ground? I wish. Call my favorite Muscovite journalism major? Sadly, yes.

And of course the phone cord didn't reach the server, so I had to stumble back and forth from receiving a verbal direction to executing it. Why are there never phones in server rooms? Or chairs?

Last night, however, I installed our new wireless router and got Mr. Librarian's new laptop onto the vastness of the Interverse with a minimum of swearing. Today I hooked up our new hand-me-down TV and set it up just like you're supposed to be able to do. AND assembled and installed our new printer.

Bogged right down when it came to getting Little Dell Laptop to find the printer though, and I have spent at least four hours getting that to go. Fucking firewalls. Dick-nibbling multi-layer network setup routines. Malformed, misbegotten documentation. Troubleshooting routines that start with "check the cables" and end with "no, you're wrong, in fact it IS working".

But now it is. And now I can sit on the couch in front of the new (to us) big-ass TV and live-blog the Oscars on Little Miss Laptop. I'll say it right here: if that kid wins an Oscar I'm gonna yack.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Thoughts on crows

I don't know if crows migrate. I don't think so. But man, I notice these large crowds of them in the winter, and I don't in summer.

I could find out pretty quick, I am a librarian and people ask me that kind of thing all the time. "Do crows migrate?" "Who's my senator?" "What's the GDP of France?" "How much is rent in Gabon?"

But after answering all those questions, I'm kind of content to not know whether or not crows migrate. Don't tell me. I'd rather wonder idly while I'm waiting for the light to turn green. What's blacker, a crow or a crow's shadow on a sunny, frigid day?

The other thing I notice while I'm waiting for the light to turn green is that crows don't flock. You'll see a whole batch of them struggling across the sky, like commuters heading for the subway, but they're not banking and wheeling in unison like pigeons do.

Pigeons, jeez. You wonder why they fly anywhere at all. Just stay in one place, right? It's not like some cat came out on the building ledge and scared them all off, and it's not like Look at the time! We've got to get over to the roof of the BP before the buffet closes!

Crows have reasons to go places. Bugs to eat. Roosts to get back to before dark.

Right now they're flying in that lunging uncoordinated way down to the trees by the creek in the park. Black scraps crossing the sunset. Looking kind of epic, or looking like black plastic bags in the wind, depending how you catch them.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

A load of towels

02 20 07 012

My mind has been a blank lately. More so than usual. Maybe it's all these jobs I'm working, maybe it's too steady a diet of movies and Buffy after the kids go to bed.

You know, maybe it's actually having Bob around to talk to - it's not like we spend the days dissecting foreign policy decisions and deconstructing Thomas Mann, but we do have conversations that don't involve the phrase, "don't stick that there." Usually I only have those conversations in my head, and so they wind up here.

Or. The movies-and-Buffy theory is a pretty good one. We saw Casino Royale last week and I have spent a fair amount of shower and car time breaking that movie down in my head - comparing it to the (very weird) book, how it's different from all previous Bond movies, what's better about it, whether an English guy can really look that good with his shirt off.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Yes I am Mother Nature's son

little men

If you were curious about sledding and ice-crusted snow, here are the answers: a saucer will go fastest; there is no controlling your direction no matter what you are using as a sled; try not to sled down a hill that you can't get back up; if there are thorn bushes, you will end up in them.

That just about covers it. Oh, except - if small children are sledding, have an adult at the bottom of the hill or else they will never stop. Plus that way it's a lot like bowling.

Joe mowed down a small tree with his face; Bob hit a fence so hard we thought he'd concussed himself; Jeannie sailed about ten feet into the bushes when the sled she was on stopped and she didn't. Heading into the thorns with Big Man on my back, I tried to wipe out, but succeeded only in rolling us over and pinning him against a tree.

Let's go to the video:

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I'm just a symptom of the moral decay that's gnawing at the heart of the country

Song lyrics come to mind sometimes when I'm coming up with titles for posts. I had a little down-time today and I sorted through all of my posts to see exactly what sonic self-portrait I am developing with these top-of-my-head music references.

Well. There's no doubt that I listened to college radio in the 80's and 90's, is there.

Golden Palominos - that was a loose band put together by Anton Fier, with Syd Straw and Michael Stipe in it initially. There was a version of The Animal Speaks with vocals by Jack Bruce, but on the album John Lydon sings it.

But the Eagles - I hate the Eagles (but I love Joe Walsh - wasn't it great when he was on Drew Carey's TV show? kind of playing himself?); and Foreigner and Eddie Money, my god, less said the better.

Pixies and Gang of Four and Sugarcubes and The The... you know what's funny? My sister-in-law Nancy went to the art school attached to my university, a year ahead of me. Millions of years later, after I'd started shacking up with her brother, she and I put together that we'd actually attended some of the same parties (including one with a toilet-paper bridal gown and a 7-foot penis), and then when we started reminiscing about music, she started pulling out the exact same records that had meant so much to me way back then. So I'd say that you probably knew a girl just like me. Maybe you knew Nancy.

My F-111, gonna shoot shoot shoot it up

Click to see a slideshow

When Mr. Librarian becomes a wage-earning member of society again (and it's coming up fast), we are going to be hurtin.

It's all been one giant playdate for my gentlemen here, and I have to say, what with me being sick and then working so much, I haven't done a load of laundry in weeks. Plus, Mr. Three has totally lost his manners. He says, "I'm thirsty!" and someone gets him a drink. He's still as cute as can be, but now he's like a cute Napoleon Bonaparte.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

My Maserati does one eighty-five

This is my new favorite children's book. It's called 17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore, by Jenny Offill and Nancy Carpenter (both Brooklynites, ha, yeah, I knew it). I love the illustration style. Nancy Carpenter draws kind of like a messy Robert McCloskey, and her collage elements are surprising and good and not overdone. Plus, you have to love this kid! She is inventive and dopey at the same time, and her expressions are perfect. And she's totally wearing Christopher Robin's boots.

I had an idea to staple my brother's hair to the pillow.
I'm not allowed to use the stapler anymore.

I love the picture of the little boy wandering around with the pillow still attached to his head. It's kind of sad and really funny at the same time. That's the "poor little cute little bastard" feeling you get when you see your kid, say, eat something he doesn't like and make a face.

I think I wouldn't actually read this book to those perfect leetle angel kids of mine, and most of my mom friends (and Mr. Librarian) feel the same way. That stapler thing just sounds too fun.

But sometimes I use kids' books as, like, expensive greeting cards - you know, when the occasion doesn't require a gift, but you'd like to go better than a card. This book would be a good graduation present maybe, or a 'boy you f'ed up but aren't you glad you're not six?' present.

Which got me thinking - I'd love to do an adult version of this book. Or, er, a grownup version I mean to say... although an "adult" version ("I had an idea to masturbate in my car in the parking lot at the SuperFresh" etc.) ehhh no, let's not do that.

Por ejemplo:

I decided that Todd in HR was really kind of cute, in like a squishy, hairy way.
I'm not allowed to go to the office Christmas party anymore.

I wondered if eggnog-scented soap would taste like eggnog.
I'm not allowed to go to Bed, Bath & Beyond anymore. [thanks, ACW!]
I really really really wanted to see if my ex-boyfriend still thought about me maybe sometimes.
I'm not allowed to have my cell phone when I'm drunk anymore.
I hit Reply instead of Forward.
I'm not allowed to use email anymore.
I got real mad at my boss and told about that time that we went to Oaxaca and said it was a trade show and it wasn't.
I'm not allowed to have a blog anymore.
Of course, it would all depend on the illustrations.

Don't touch that!

The funny and absurdly brilliant mind(s) behind xkcd (see, so brilliant I have no idea what that means) have a small fascination with MC Hammer. So does Mr. Librarian. Some mornings in the kitchen, getting breakfast ready or making the Big Man's lunch, he'll start singing little ditties in the meter of U Can't Touch This.

Deeer neer-neer-neert
It's wintertime!
Neert neer-neert
It's cold outside!
Neer-neer neer-neert
Betta get ya coat on!
I can't find my gloves!
Neer-neert neer-neert

You know, if he ever starts a blog, I'm dead meat.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Slippery slope

I can send things right from my phone to this blog.

I was setting up Mr. Librarian's fancy new phone and while I was at it I put Google Maps on mine and I noticed, Hey! there's a thing for Blogger now - I wonder what that do's? I just wanted to see if it worked and now it does and oh MAN that's probably a bad idea.

This is Mr. Three showing me what he has learned in swim class. Not a still from a Japanese horror movie.

Friday, February 02, 2007

C'mon baby, do you do more than dance?

I'm hot blooded,
Check it and see
I got a fever of a hundred and three
You know what used to happen to me when I had a high fever as a kid? I heard voices. Two voices, one in one ear that was too slow to understand, the other in the other ear, too fast to understand... it was maddening.

Well, this time I understand the voices. Ever since I looked at the thermometer yesterday and it read 103 degrees, Foreigner has been singing that song in my head.

I went to the doctor, she ruled out pneumonia but flu is still a possibility. Remember when we were kids, and "the flu" was like 4 days? Now it always seems to be ten or twelve, and apparently it can take your life.

This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but with Foreigner ringing in our ears.

Ha! You didn't think you could get T.S. Eliot and shitty 70's arena rock into the same sentence! The things you can do with a superheated brain!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

They are on a water planet and all they have is rafts

They are on a water planet and all they have is rafts

Lucky lucky, I am unbelievably lucky. Bob says I have been sleeping off and on about 16 hours a day. Although I am miserable and every ounce of me hurts, I am lucky. Lucky that he is off work, lucky that these kids have been playing together so great, lucky that I NEVER get this sick. Lucky that Sandy loaned me Firefly on DVD.