Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Foundling Wheel story

Something else to think about:

Updating an Old Way to Leave the Baby on the Doorstep

And, again, I found some inconsistencies (arising, I think, from quoting out of context or perhaps a mistranslation). First I found this and wanted to post it so Julie could get her bile exercised – that’s what I’m there for, after all.

The boy, who was named Stefano by the hospital team after the medic on call that night, was dressed in clean clothes and seemed to have been breast-fed, Dr. Paolillo said, because he at first refused a bottle.
“It seems he was loved until that moment,” he added.

But before you start writing angry letters to Dr. Paolillo, he says this at another point in the article.

The discovery of an infant girl on the bed of a truck in July 2005 inspired Dr. Paolillo to create the Casilino cradle, which cost about $52,000. “It was obvious that the mother of that child wanted a better life for her,” he said, noting that the baby had been bathed and wrapped in a cloth to keep her warm. “Often, there is an act of love behind abandonment.”

Foundling Wheels, hunh. A night-drop box for babies. Imagine.

Auden and I

Some things to get off my chest. The reason I’ve been falutin’ at different altitudes than usual is that I’ve started reading W.H. Auden’s “The Dyer’s Hand.” Good stuff, and deep – I think. I qualify it because he’s the kind of author that presents things in a beautiful way, ordered, concise, with intriguing examples. The examples or similes are such that, by the time you’ve worked out how they might apply, you’re on his side because you’ve forgotten to think about a counterargument. Here’s an example. He’s talking about the difference between a contract (which is the basis of a master-servant relationship, the point of which I’m still trying to figure out) and a law.

[T]he relationship of all individuals to a law is symmetric; it commands or prohibits the same thing to all who come under it.

So far, so good. The law doesn’t make master-servant relationships. It allows them, but they are not the basis of law and its enforcement. But then comes the thing that’s still gnawing at me.

Of any law one can ask the aesthetic question, “Is it enforceable?” and the ethical question, “Is it just?” An individual has the aesthetic right to break the law if he is powerful enough to do so with impunity, and it may be his ethical duty to break it if his conscience tells him that the law is unjust.

What gets me is the “aesthetic question” and the “aesthetic right.”
Aesthetics, as I understand it, involves beauty, nature, art, and the perception (and evaluation) thereof.

There are too many things going around in my mind surrounding this problem to put in a proper order, so I’ll just start spewing (please pardon me and skip this paragraph if it’s too tedious, I promise to finish up with something facetious). You prove your aesthetic right by exposing a law as unenforceable and therefore become an artist by cheating on taxes or hiring below minimum wage – this gets at the romanticism in certain crimes; criminals are artists; but are lawmakers or law-enforcers the artists on the other side; are laws beautiful or natural or artistic or are they the perception (and evaluation) of beauty, art and nature? - I’ll stop.

Other examples or points of his aren’t as well thought-out.

Between friends differences in taste or opinion are irritating in direct proportion to their triviality. If my friend takes up Vedanta, I can accept it, but if he prefers his steak well done, I feel it to be treachery.

And it is. Treachery to Vedanta. Imagine, a Hindu eating steak.

(I'm telling you, publishers who don't read this, I'd make a good proofreader on a conceptual level.)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Cheney Unhurt After Bombing in Afghanistan

Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

Cheney Unhurt After Bombing in Afghanistan
“Almost” counts in horseshoes and hand-grenades, but not in suicide bombings.
Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril
Even they know the power of non-violence.

Coco Tuesday

Sometimes I feel sorry for the cat, but then he’ll do something that makes me think he deserves what he gets.
Why write this on a Coco Tuesday? Because Coco is the prime enforcer of all things Baci. He lives for squirting the cat, even after the cat has already gotten off the table or counter or stove or wherever he’s not supposed to be. The cat, I assume, by now believes his name not to be Baci Kitty-Cat Boom-Bang, but Baci Get-Off-The-Table.
The silly cat happens to be curious about the bubbles the kids create in the bath and the kids help him out by having soap-ball fights. Yesterday, Coco topped the whole thing off by picking up the cat (after the kids had gotten out of the tub but before I had a chance to drain it) and throwing him in the water.
Ack. (More money in the shouting jar from me.)
But as soon as he’s dry, who does the cat snuggle up to?
I should just stay out of things.

Madge Monday

Madge has been delightful lately, so I don’t really have any good Madge things to relate.
She recently scrounged together twenty dollars so she could buy herself a computer game. I have more coins now than I know what to do with. So I put them in the “shouting” jar, something we instituted so the kids would feel a monetary pain for whenever they raise their voices, but it turns out that Julie and I now can no longer afford any non-necessities. The coins started off in the shouting jar, but Coco took them out and recycled them to Madge’s piggy bank, so I have no idea where the cash is right now.
I’m sure it’s redolent of some sort of governmental fiscal scheme, but I’m not sure which.

“Redolent,” jeez. See what happens when Julie’s out of town for a few days?

Here’s something else I’d never say when I have her to talk me down from my flights of cleverness:
I just hope our jolie fille sans s’il-vous-plait doesn’t turn into a belle dame sans merci.

But there you go. Have fun figuring out what I’m trying to say.

Monday, February 26, 2007


Making the Return Trip: Elderly Head Back North

Cheney Warns Pakistan to Act on Terror

Making the Return Trip: Elderly Head Back North.
For the first time since the Depression, the flow of the elderly has reversed (from the South, that is. The article mentions no Zombies).
Cheney Warns Pakistan to Act on Terror.
He might be the reason. “We told you. If you keep it up, we’ll turn this car around. Now move over, sonny. Time to fix this puppy.”

Sunday, February 25, 2007

the n word

In our house, apparently, it's "nap."

This, by the way, is Julie's joke. Or at least that's where I heard it first. But, since it sounds pretentious to quote other people's punchlines, I'll just appropriate it. It's in our marriage contract anyway. "Paragraph 293: All insightful or humorous comments shall fall under joint proprietorship upon utterance and memorization, however faulty."

This is followed by "Paragraph 294: Any and all statements, however faultily remembered, may be dragged out in future arguments as proof of numbscullness."
However, as you may or may not remember, in our Bill of Marital Rights, "Amendment 2: Arguments spice up a dull evening, but might cause long-term damage. So, if you happen to be the male party of the undersigned, think twice and then shut up anyway."

Friday, February 23, 2007

post-neurologist post

Went to the neurologist yesterday. Everything seems fine.
But, man, poor Coco. He steeled himself on the subway ride, in order to get through the EEG. Then, when they asked him if he wants to sit or lay down, he chose laying down and hopped on the bed and put his head on the towel.
Then, when they were starting to put the wired on his head, his eyes got red and filled with moisture and he started rubbing them and said, “The sun’s too bright.
And so we find ourselves in another parenting dilemma. On the one hand, man, what a brave little kid; he’s only four and already has quite a grip on his emotions. On the other hand, poor guy; he’s only four and already has quite a grip on his emotions.
But, like I said, the visit went fine. Nothing showed up on the EEG and he conversed with the neurologist and on his next visit he’ll just be talking with her, no EEG. Yay.
Then, and I’m not sure what got into us, we went to Chuck E. Cheese on the way home. I had never been before. The kids had been with a foolhardy babysitter who realized that the whole situation was scary and abandoned ship. Very intelligently, she took them to Target for a quick bribe and then took them back home. But, because of this babysitter, we had quite a few game tokens left over and the kids really wanted to go.
And, quite frankly, if a kid doesn’t have seizures in that place, I don’t know what will set them off. I think if you’d pump Eeyore (the lethargic donkey from Winnie the Pooh) full of valium and sent him through that climbing tube (which Coco couldn’t get enough of), even he would convulse.

Headlines write themselves

46 Nations Call for Cluster Bomb Ban

Springtime for Hit’s End: ‘The Producers’ to Close

46 Nations Call for Cluster Bomb Ban.
The bombs inflict ''unacceptable harm'' on civilians, particularly children.
Springtime for Hit’s End: ‘The Producers’ to Close.
Tony Danza inflicts ''unacceptable harm'' on civilians, particularly children.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

future ceo headlines

Korean Men Use Brokers to Find Brides in Vietnam.
Would the brokers make more if they got a percentage of the brides’ future alimony?
Admissions Jockeying Starts Earlier in New York.
With the competition for mail-order brides stiffening, you can’t get started soon enough.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Britain to Cut 1,600 Troops in Iraq, Blair Says

Many Episcopalians Wary, Some Defiant After Ultimatum by Anglicans

Britain to Cut 1,600 Troops in Iraq, Blair Says.
Somehow the party isn’t as fun as they originally thought.
Many Episcopalians Wary, Some Defiant After Ultimatum by Anglicans.
Just watch out, in case 1,600 enforcers arrive to counter Episcopalian permissiveness.

Coco, belated

All I have to do is pay attention, really, and I get Coco tidbits. Here's one, if a little late.

When Coco said, "I'm just helping him take a bath," he was responding to which statement of mine?
a) Baci doesn't go in the dishwasher.
b) Where are you taking the shampoo?
c) Don't lick the cat.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


For Fox’s Rivals, ‘American Idol’ Remains a ‘Schoolyard Bully’

Trial Spotlights Cheney’s Power as an Infighter

For Fox’s Rivals, ‘American Idol’ Remains a ‘Schoolyard Bully’
Audiences love the Seven Deadly Sins set to Karaoke.
Trial Spotlights Cheney’s Power as an Infighter.
If only he’d attempt to sing, then we’d have a winner.*

*The advertising revenue from his show could easily finance the anti-insurgency.

Coco Tuesday

Really more of a Madge thing than a Coco thing, but they’re both involved.
Whenever there are subtitles in a movie, for example when Jabba the Hut is talking or when daddy has the crazy idea that the kids might enjoy a Buster Keaton short, Madge reads the subtitles aloud, for Coco.
I have no idea whether he pays attention or not, but I find the whole thing very sweet.

Speaking of sweet. I was on the Subway on Sunday and, as it pulled into the Grand Street Station, the conductor called out “Gung Hay Fat Tsoy” (or however you want to transliterate it), followed by “Happy Chinese New Year.”
It’s amazing how a small thing like that can light up the faces of hundred of strangers.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Madge Monday

Poor Madgie seems sick today, on her day off.
But here’s something she did last week. In school they’re doing math with decimals, and they’re approaching it by play-acting a diner or restaurant.
The amounts listed were something along the order of 91 cents for a cheeseburger, 26 cents for a falafel.
Then Madge came home and made up her own menu, and you can tell she’s living in New York (the spelling is hers).

Pancake 6$
Pizza, pepproni tomatoes 22$
Tea 4$
Chcoclate cake 10$

(You non-New-Yorkers may laugh at this, but her pricing is quite representative.)

more headlines

Al Qaeda Chiefs Are Seen to Regain Power

JetBlue’s C.E.O. Is ‘Mortified’ After Fliers Are Stranded

Al Qaeda Chiefs Are Seen to Regain Power.
Training camps have sprung up across the border, in Pakistan.
JetBlue’s C.E.O. Is ‘Mortified’ After Fliers Are Stranded.
You never know how people will mobilize when things fail to take off.

Friday, February 16, 2007

catching up

I’ve been tired all week. Between lengthy sessions of watching “Bleak House,” seeing “Les Miz,” working, watching a Richard Lewis DVD, more “Bleak House,” and a night of limericks, I finally got some sleep last night.
All the listed activities were worth the time invested and sleep lost, but it made blogging difficult. The more tired I get, the more events seem irritating or even depressing rather than humorous. So I decided to just stick with the headline poems.
But now I’m back, I hope.

Yesterday, for example I learned from Madge that the reason she was such a sassy brat the night before was because she had been reading Harry Potter. While reading, she identified with our dear Harry and equated us, her parents (Julie in particular), with Umbridge. So, of course, she had to lash out.
See, today I find it funny. Yesterday it was so-so. The day before it would have made me mad.

We got to trudge through the snow a lot, too, and I got to tell Madge how I used to pretend I was walking through the wilderness in search of help for my trapped family and I had to watch out for wolves and traps and weak ice. She was very excited by all this. Hopefully I can get her to read some Jack London as a result.

Both of these incidents lead me to another observation. I have noticed, when kids play, that they like to identify with characters from movies or books. “I’ll be so-and-so. Who do you want to be?” And then they act out what happened or take it further.
I tend to think of characters, mostly, in terms of whether I like them or not. First, whether I like them as characters, then, whether I’d like them as friends or how I’d deal with them if they were real people. Sometimes I even think, “What would I do in that situation?” Hardly ever do I think, “I want to be him or her.” (Though sometimes I realize, of a character, often someone I don’t really like, “Hey! That’s me!”)
I wonder when in our lives this change happens? Is it a change in us or a change in the books we read?

A mixture of both, obviously.

And now I should probably take off my Princess Leia costume and go shopping or something.

rolling along

In Fraud Case, 7 Years in Jail for Contempt

Pressing Allies, President Warns of Afghan Battle

In Fraud Case, 7 Years in Jail for Contempt,
Failure to produce evidence earned a sentence as long as a full conviction.
Pressing Allies, President Warns of Afghan Battle.
Same 7 years, different domicile, but a disturbingly similar contempt.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

88 Headlines

Tasty Tastemakers of the Runway

Bush Declares Iran’s Arms Role in Iraq Is Certain

Tasty Tastemakers of the Runway,
What you wear, away from the media’s eye, is picked up by the public.
Bush Declares Iran’s Arms Role in Iraq is Certain.
We’ve recognized some of our cast-offs from the Eighties.

(Here's an
extra link, but only if you need it.)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

tiny insight

Huh. Last night, mulling things over while falling asleep, I realized why the Chinese poetry as exemplified in the Japanese popular song is in a book of 101 Zen Stories.
I’ll be.
That stuff really works, I guess.
What is the reason? you ask.
I figure it’s because you can combine any two things to make one of those poems. Or, in other words, everything is connected. Try it for yourself. Go to the dictionary, open it up, and find some words.
I found “dog biscuit” and “recruit” on this time around. And, voila, a little mulling of the terms and you get:

A dog biscuit is a small reward, a bribe.
It motivates canines to perform the most absurd tasks.
Recruits are harder and harder to come by,
And yet small treats make them roll over and play dead.

Sorry about the pessimism creeping into these things. It might be the weather. Still, I stand by my point.

88 Headlines

More headline "poetry"

Chrysler Cuts 13,000 Jobs in Overhaul

Millions in Lottery Prizes Go Unclaimed

Chrysler Cuts 13,000 Jobs in Overhaul,
Losses in the billions are not to be overlooked.
Millions in Lottery Prizes Go Unclaimed.
Former automotive workers will be checking their pockets more carefully now.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

88-Style on Headlines

The next step? The two top headlines at squished into the 88-form.

North Korea to Close Reactor in Exchange for Raft of Aid

One Year Later, Golden Mosque Is Still in Ruins

One Year Later, Golden Mosque Is Still in Ruins.
Destruction is stronger than the effort to rebuild.
North Korea to Close Reactor in Exchange for Raft of Aid.
We'll rebuild the mosque if Iraqis agree not to pray there.

Madge Monday and Coco Tuesday

Nothing strange or unusual going on with the kids right now and things are finally seeming more normal, with nobody sick and nobody visiting.
Last night Madge’s school had an ice-skating party for the second- and third-graders and their families. Lots of fun. This time we took the bus to get there (a school bus), which was fun, but involved waiting, something in which Madge has, as they say in business-spin-talk, opportunities.
“Where’s the bus?” “When is the bus coming?” “Is there another bus?” “Did we miss the bus?” “When is the bus coming?” et c. (Notice the old-school division of that abbrev.? I’m oh-so-crafty.)
Poor Madge has two smart-heinies as parents, so the questions only frustrate everyone. They are, after all, lose-lose questions. Nobody knows the answer and, as exacting as she is, any wrong answer is a mark against us on an ever-growing tally. I’m surprised I don’t have a black spot on the palm of my hand by now.
So we answer truthfully, which irritates her even more. “The bus is somewhere between the school and here.” “It’ll be here shortly after we see it turn the corner.” And so on.
When the questions continue, we say, “No idea, maybe they stopped at a drive-through.” “Oh, no, we’ll have to sleep in the park.” (The skating rink is in Prospect Park, the crown jewel in Olmsted and Vaux’s blahblahblah.)
While we were waiting some kid was playing with a stick and Madge was well on her way to talking him into giving it to her against his will – she was using some kind of womanly mind-meld – when I interceded and told her to look for her own. Coco had already found his own a while ago. But it was fascinating to see her working on that kid. She already had the kid’s dad on her side, working on the guy. But, as you might have noticed, we were in a park. Sticks were abundant. No need to work on the imperius curse or whatever she was doing.
Skating itself was loads of fun and the kids dropped into bed exhausted when we got home.
My lower back hurts, though, because Coco doesn’t skate on his own and prefers to have both hands held as the kids did when learning to walk.

Monday, February 12, 2007


Two takes on a similar combination (a bit late, because I don't like anticipating stories covered on WWDTM):

Dogs are everywhere in the city,
On the street, in apartments, in parks.
NASA has developed much new technology,
Perhaps dogs ought to wear diapers.

Astronauts are go-getters,
Trained to explore new frontiers.
Dogs can be made to behave,
So why aren’t astronauts neutered?

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Bear with me, I think it'll pay off (if not now, then in the long haul).

From “101 Zen Stories” (as presented in “Zen Flesh Zen Bones”)

88. How To Write a Chinese Poem

A well-known Japanese poet was asked how to compose a Chinese poem.
“The usual Chinese poem is four lines,” he explained. “The first line contains the initial phase; the second line, the continuation of that phrase; the third line turns from this subject and begins a new one; and the fourth line brings the first three lines together. A popular Japanese song illustrates this:

Two daughters of a silk merchant live in Kyoto.
The elder is twenty, the younger, eighteen.
A soldier may kill with his sword,
But these girls slay men with their eyes.”

Since I find this style of poetry amusing, I’ll be trying my hand at it. (I also love that this is supposedly a Zen story. And of course, that a Chinese poem is illustrated by a popular Japanese song. Those Zen storytellers are so culturally sensitive.)
So, in lieu of calling it my attempt at a popular Japanese song style or Chinese poetry, I’ll call it 88-style.

There are many restaurants in Park Slope,
One fancier, and more pricy, than the next.
The bus runs every twelve minutes,
Will our waitress ever return?

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Z Fable

The Zenith and the Zero

“I’m at the peak of my game,” said the Zenith.
“So there’s no way but down,” answered the Zero.
“Yeah, but at least people want to hang out with me. Celebrate my arrival.”
“But it’s always the same with you. I’m less predictable.”
“How so?”
“As a place holder, I’m enjoyed. As a multiplying factor, not so much.”
“And as a denominator, I blow their little minds.”
“Still, though, on your own, you’re nothing.”
“So are you, pal. So are you.”

Friday, February 09, 2007

Where is tall man?

Another Coco tidbit I remembered today.
One of the greatest nannies ever, Shani Mueller, taught us the well-known kids’ hit, “Where is Thumbkin?”, a song that teaches digital dexterity by making the kids use each finger separately. Thumbkin and Pointer are easy to manipulate, Tall Man and Pinky (called Baby in some versions of the song) are a little more difficult, and Ringman is near impossible for the wee ones.
We’d been singing the song for a while with Coco, since it’s a good way to pass the time when we’re waiting for something.
One day I was waiting at Madge’s school for the release of the second graders. As usual, Coco was on my shoulders. A nanny (technically, an au pair) looked up at him and said, “Who’s the tall man?”
Needless to say, she was rather shocked at his non-verbal response.


Here’s something Auntie Boo wanted me to write about. I hardly even think it’s an inconsistency, but, then again, I’m around the kids all the time.
Coco likes turning off lights so he can play with the flashlight or the Harry Potter wand or the Pirates of the Caribbean sword or the light saber (if he could find it), all of which light up. We, however, would have liked some light so we could see to eat or read or whatever nonsensical activity was occupying us at the moment. (Although I do admit, some moments of darkness for me to get some clandestine nose-digging time might have been welcome.)
So I said to Coco, “How about if you go to your room and turn off the lights there?”
His answer, of course (all together now), “No, it’s too dark back there.”

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The obvious

This week's New Yorker has an article I'm not likely to read, not least because the subtitle annoys me so much.
It is entited "Two Heads" and subtitled "A marriage devoted to the mind-body problem."
I ask you, what marriage isn't?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The going rate for pictures

The bidding opens at one thousand words. Do I hear one thousand five hundred?

Laugh don't destroy

So now I feel bad.

I went to this show last night, and, sure, I gave $20 for a fairly worthwhile and fairly hopeless cause so I should feel good about that, but I wasted about two hours doing so.
Here’s the deal. All the performers, as far as I can tell, are experienced to some degree, and even good (to some degree).
But nothing really seemed prepared. Okay, I guess they didn’t get paid* and were doing it as a benefit, but on the other hand a hodge-podge mix of acts like this is also meant to gain new fans, potentially.
*One performer, Eugene Mirman, even lost $20 on the deal because he paid an unintentional heckler to leave. Needless to say, the guy stayed and kept the $20, thus proving that he really was a [insert whatever you feel here, don’t hold back]. It’s odd, really. Jon Benjamin, one of the funnier acts up to that point (though the host was pretty good – in spite of appeals to “hey, it’s comedy” – and Gilad Foss was good, at least he had something prepared), asked this man, who was sitting in the front row, if he was enjoying himself – or some such thing. The guy said that nothing so far was funny (and, honestly, he wasn’t too far off at this point, though Benjamin, really, was good). And it went downhill from there. And from that point on, none of the performers was able to ignore this guy (although the woman he was with seemed to be enjoying herself and the performers did all pick on him a little – still, he was too big a [insert again] to be moved).
Anyway, to make matters worse, Coco wasn’t at all prepared to see me go and stayed up until about 10pm waiting for me before he fell asleep, so I lost out on two fronts as this morning was extra difficult with Coco and I’m already dreading naptime.

Quick evaluation of performers, though too quick and most possibly unfair. Benjamin and Mirman, worth seeing again and paying for. Showalter strong and good, but something is missing for me (probably a better writer than performer, but, man, wasn’t that a hasty judgment on my part). Gilad Foss, good, Baron Vaughan, good (though too apologetic), Robin Cloud, good (though not really suited to the audience that was there).
But, hey, kudos for them for showing up and doing their thing, in spite of the energy-drain in the front row.

And now I still feel bad.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Coco Tuesday

This is what we were doing while we were waiting for Madge's ballet class to begin.
Today, on the way to Coco's school, I told him I was going shopping to get oatmeal and other things. What else should I bring?
And he answered, "Chocolate chips, so Auntie Boo can have more cookies."
Now, naive dad that I am, I say, Oh, how sweet. What a thoughtful kid.
But what if he's merely manipulative, knowing he's more likely to get what he wants if he says it's for someone else?
I'll just take it as a win-win situation: either he's really sweet or really savvy.
(I'll be enjoying the cookies, too, after all. Win-win-win.)

Monday, February 05, 2007

linking to roy

A most excellent post by Roy. Read it. This man knows how to mold words.

linking to me

Love the art again on this CrunchGear post. Go, Bryce!

Madge Monday

Last Monday, the day of my intestinal upheavals, Madge's ballet class had an open session. Great fun. My escape to the vomitorium after the event is by no means a reflection upon the event itself.
One of the best parts was the piano player. Yes, ballet classes, at least the ones Madge has attended, have flesh-and-blood musicians to keep time and offer a backdrop.
Visually, this guy was nothing at all compared to the lovely Miss Olga from Miss Tilly's Ballet Studio in San Francisco. But he was far more entertaining. She tended to play the same few pieces. Some Mussorgsky, some Grieg, some Tchaikowsky, and that was pretty much it. This guy was improvising the whole time, simple four-measure things, changed as to the mood required. He was super-sloppy, missing notes all the time. But that wasn't the point. He was as unsubtle as a kid's ballet class requires, with crazy glissandi when the kids were doing their turns and tiptoe music when they were doing delicate cat steps.
Come to think of it, the difference between Miss Olga and this guy is the difference between San Francisco and New York. Miss Olga was lovely, did everything right, sunny, and had a warm, loving personality. This guy was fun to look at (though not lovely by a long stretch), sloppy, over-the-top, oddly needy of recognition and lapping up my compliments to him afterwards, but completely fitting and totally fun.
See, what we need is a house at each coast.
Oh, yes, and Madge was great, too. She had missed quite a few classes before this, the last one. And we found out afterwards that all the fairly complex routines that she did as well as all the other kids were brand new to her that day. She's a quick learner.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Y Fables

The Yeti and the Yenta

“You should shave.”
“You should talk.”

The Yeti and the Yak

The Yeti said to the yak, “Hey, have you heard of evolution?”
“Well, I’m upright and you’re not.”
“So I’m more evolved, right?”
“If that makes you happy.”
“Sure does,” the Yeti said and went back into hiding.

The Yeti and the Yogurt

Said the Yeti, “I can’t wait to eat you. You’re just what I need.”
“Dude,” said the yogurt, “the word is ‘abominable’, not ‘abdominal’.”

Public Service from moi (indirectly)

For those of you who buy things online, here's a website that tracks whether or not you could have gotten it cheaper somewhere else (or at the same place) and then alerts you so you can get the difference refunded.
Not a bad ploy. But where they get their money in the process is a mystery to me.
(I found it through CrunchGear. Go ahead an click on the link in the sidebar for more techie things.)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Wine Theft

A $100,000 theft of wine in Silicon Valley (here's the NYTimes story).
How do the thieves choose what to celebrate with? A can of TAB?
The crime would be "perfect" if the thieves sent back the bottles they didn't like (you know, opened, with a sip taken...whatever).
This one's for you, PM: I think the butler did it.

Piano Music

The Ahmad Jamal Trio. I saw them once, in Oakland (Yoshi's, I think), although he had an extra percussionist for that run. And it wasn't the same lineup as here. I was just reminded of how great the man's arrangements are when one of his songs popped up in my iTunes playlist. I tend to stop what I'm doing and just listen and after a while I notice I'm smiling.
Usually I'm of the opinion that music can't be "funny" unless it's referencing other pieces and, more likely than not, the words or dramatic situations associated with those pieces. But Ahmad Jamal plays with time and dynamics in such a great way that I smile nonetheless - not "funny" enough for outright laughter, I guess, but still.
According to a little book of quotes I have, Horovitz once said something to the effect of, "Anyone can get applause. But silence, before and during the performance, that is the greatest."
Jamal gets silence from me every time.

I forgot to mention something I noticed when I watched it again. There's a visual correlary to the way the ensmble fits together. Between the three of them, the performers make up one full beard (wraparound chin thing + soul patch + mustache). On purpose?