Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Madge Monday

Here's a song I've transcribed recently. No big deal because songs like this just linger on I and IV with the occasional V, and this one has the gimmicky I - III7 - IV - I in the B section.
The lyrics:

I was dancin' with my darlin' to the Tennessee Waltz
When an old friend I happened to see.
I introduced her* to my loved one and while they were dancin'
My friend stole my sweetheart from me.

I remember the night and the Tennessee Waltz
Now I know just how much I have lost.
Yes I lost my little darlin' the night they were playing
The beautiful Tennessee Waltz.

* I'm so flexible, I changed it to "him" when I sing it. Or does that make me inflexible in a different way?

Madge started singing along, but commented on how I only like sad songs.
Well, duh. Those are the only good ones, right?
So I said, "Tell me a good happy song. There aren't any."
But she zinged me with, "I'm a Barbie Girl in a Barbie world."
Madge: 870,046 - Daddy:2

Friday, June 26, 2009

last pre-kids-at-home day

Yesterday, Thursday, was my last day before the summer without the kids at home full time.
It wasn't supposed to be, but Coco has a fever today.
I took advantage of that day by getting my teeth cleaned. (Is it an insult or compliment if the dentist says she might be able to let me be the test subject for a new kind of bleach?)
Then I got some new clothes (psst, don't tell).
And finally had lunch at a bar on Prince Street. The bartender was overly flirtatious and friendly and inquisitive and pushy. He exhibited none of these characteristics to me, personally, probably because I just sat down to read and ignored him - wait; maybe that's why my beer was flat. But listening to and surreptitiously watching him I realized he was revelling in his inoffical role as "New York City Charm" to all the tourists because he always brought out the phrase, "so, where are you from?" followed by a tenuous connection to a more-or-less current news story. Good times.
The biggest Wow-moment for me, though, was when a family of three came in. Dad: short, balding, glasses. Mom: about the same size, poorly cut and colored hair. Son: probably 12.
The bartender established that they were from Finland and promptly had nothing to say. Finland stays out of the news, I think.
The man wanted a local draft (or draught, rauther) beer and the bartender poured him a taste of something (New York City Charm). The man approved and ordered a glass. The mom and son sat at a table while the pocket Napoleon had his beer at the bar. Then he paid and they all left.
What the...?!?

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Yesterday was the fourth grade picnic. Apparently something happens between the third grade picnic and the fourth grade picnic that makes the kids more independent and less willing or desirous of adult interaction. This is a good thing in general, I know, but I'm not quite at the stage of whipping out a book at one of these events and just kind of disappearing.
Don't get me wrong, I managed to bully my way into a soccer game. But before that, Madge kept coming over and asking if I was okay since I was just standing there, watching. Sweet kid.
I need to be aware of this transition, though. I think it marks the point where the kids are going to actively avoid adults in order to stay out of trouble.
Because we all know: as long as you're not caught, you're not in trouble.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Coco Tuesday

This morning was the Kindergarten end-of-year celebration. The teacher is fantastic. I'm going to miss him a lot. But we can always stop by to see him next year. Graduates of his class do it all the time. He's a popular guy.
The activities of the celebration were songs and poems. They sang songs together and then read individual poems. The types of poems were: "I remember," "Pretend you're a," and more free-form pieces. Good times. The crowd favorites were a piece about the unborn baby in a mom's tummy and a piece about how beautiful a mommy is. Aaaah. Talk about playing to the audience.

Okay, don't read past here if you want to keep your good-ish opinion of me.

Still with me? Figures.
There was a moment when a girl in the class was questioning the teacher about his handling of the microphone between readings.
(Oh, yes, the event was mic-ed, though the kids didn't quite understand the principle of speaking intelligibly into the mic. "Whoooo! Hee, hee. Hi. mbllmib by mubblemeep. unglemung muh neebolphrip. noopah mmMMmmoobah. Whoooo!")
She was badgering him with, "Why are you doing it like this? ... Why not...?"
A mom in front of me was very enthusiatic and said, "Oh, she's good. When she's older she's going to make a great - "
And in the break where she was trying to figure out the right profession - producer, executive, manager, I don't remember which - my mind blurted,
" - ex-wife. She's going to make a fantastic ex-wife."
Luckily my mouth didn't kick in.

(I'm glad that some of you weren't here, because I would have been too tempted. You know who you are. To twist Ogden Nash: I know I'm incorrigible, so I don't need you to incorrige me.)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Madge Monday

End of school year and art is coming home, which means we need to rethink our gallery space and maybe lower the prices on some of the older items.
Inky Squiggle with Mermaid Tail and Wings, tentatively entitled "I Have Mastered All The Elements, Suckas!" 2007 (Marker on Paper 8 1/2" x 11") now will go for only $12,500. Pick it up while supplies last.
One of the things she brought home was a sculpture - picture coming soon, hold your horses - which she thinks is ugly. Her friends say it's bad, too.
I gave her a watered-down version of art-as-mirror vs. art-as-lamp and said that her sculpture, to me (and Julie) is more of a lamp. I think she understood what I was going for.
And trust me, the thing is pretty awesome. It even had an accident on the way home and has involuntarily become a partial bobble-head. Ups the price, of course.

Father's Day

Close call.
The day was great, of course. Got some hand-drawn cards from the kids. Breakfast in bed.
On our way home from lunch out, though, we walked by a cat-adoption van, and I almost wound up with a little grey feisty fuzzball of a kitten with wacky eyes just crying out for me to play and cuddle and...
Close call again.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Coco Tuesday

At transitional moments such as getting ready for school or bed, Coco is still picking little fights that escalate to tears. Grr, grr.
I've been managing things to start the processes earlier in order to keep our schedule.
Julie suggests asking him what might be going on.
She's a freaking genius! Love her!
(I'm so close to the thing that this simple strategy hadn't occurred to me.)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Madge Monday

Today's half day was quite a success. Half day of school, that is.
(Maybe we parents should get roll-over days for these and then send our kids to school on weekends of our choice. Oh, or better yet, on evenings when we can't find babysitters. I think I'm on to something there. You guys work out the details.)
Anyway, Coco had a playdate set up so Madge and I went home, made sandwiches and a salad and watched some Seinfeld episodes before heading off to the big library where we could spend some time in the stacks without chasing/entertaining the pre-reader.
The only downside was that the library was quite full with high school kids socializing. But once you got away from the computers and went to the actual printed matter they were no longer to be seen. Only heard.
Still had fun though. And, on the way home, I even let her read while walking.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Madge's class has a photo-essay assignment. They each got a disposable camera and are supposed to be snapping away, focusing on a self-assigned theme. Madge's theme is "How I Feel About My Dad."
This is flattering and sweet, until I catch her snapping pictures of the inside of the catbox.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Why did it take me so long

To get introduced to this site?
Got some catching up to do.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Coco Tuesday

Half days at school get pretty crazy around here. Disgruntled parents frantically juggling their schedules and amped up kiddies excited about a quasi-vacation.
We had some lunch and rented Star Trek episodes (the first appearance of Khan) and then had soccer later in the afternoon. Not a bad day except for the unpredictable weather. It came down HARD this morning. Right as we were about to leave the sky turned from 8:15 am in Brooklyn to 10:45 pm in Krakow. Weird.
When we went to lunch I let Coco go to the bathroom on his own because we had already gone together and he just wanted to go rearrange some things.
"Why do you need to go again? Do you just want to wash your hands?"
"Noo-wuh. My peenuss feels like its stuck to my pants."
"Oh, go ahead."
The operation took a while and I went over to listen at the door two or three times. When he finally emerged he looked relieved and said he felt like he might never have gotten out of there. Apparently his hands, after washing, were too slippery on the door handle. I recommended using a paper towel on the handle next time.
He didn't get cranky but took it stride. "Oh, good idea, Daddy."

Madge Followup

She actually asked me for my Collected Shakespeare and took it to bed with her. She started with Romeo and Juliet. We'll see how she likes it.
Quick question to you: Montague, Capulet - which of these is Juliet's surname?
(I had to look it up, too.)

Monday, June 08, 2009

Madge Monday

Apparently she had a growth spurt. When she measured herself last week, she was shorter than two of her friends; this week, taller. Couldn't be a mistake in measuring, of course.
Still, she's just whizzing right along. She had a rather cranky moment when she was surprised by the fact of a Coco playdate, but her growth-spurty hunger may have had something to do with it, too.
The playdate turned out fine. Madge and I hung out while Coco and his friend played.
Tonight she picked up my collection of Shakespeare's complete plays (told you I was reading Ricky III) and read some of Henry V aloud (quite well, I might add) and said, "Oh, I really need to read these."
But, hey, we may have to structure our summer activities around this. Who knows. I'll keep you posted.

field trip without kids

Went to have lunch with our friend Taz today in Manhattan. He's working on the stained glass reatoration in the St. Thomas church on 5th Ave. http://www.saintthomaschurch.org/glass.html
He had lured me with a tour of the actual construction, but then realized they were too busy to show me around today, so we just had lunch, which was tons of fun, too. The church is quite lovely and the glass -at least from what I could see meandering through the pews - is crazy.
I didn't write it down, but there was a "Prayer to Our Lady of Fifth Avenue" attached to a statue.
Now, if you'd asked me before today about such a prayer, I would have said it's probably a song by Leonard Cohen.
Could still be, for all I know.

Friday, June 05, 2009

fun read

I just got reminded why I stay away from mysteries: they suck me in and don't let me go until the laundry piles up, the kids are late for school, and the dishes rebel and wash themselves (I wish).
The reminder came in the form of a book I grabbed off the "Assignments" shelf in the library. It's a handy-dandy shelf that has multiple paperback (subway-handy) copies of Classics (and the occasional "hunh"). The cover is quite lame, if you ask me, but the story, well...
It's about an inspector who gets laid up in a hospital and looks at a picture (of a painting) of Richard III and decides Ricky doesn't look like the Monster history makes him out to be.

What makes the book so super-fun is that he crossexamines people's inadequate knowledge of hearsay history and discovers loads of unquestioned contradictions. Then he applies the same investigator's logic to historical sources. Where are the breaks in the routine? Who stands to gain?
Now I'll go reread Shakespeare's Richard III, and excellent double-feature, I think.
Oh, yes, and the book I read is called The Daughter of Time and is by Josephine Tey.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


Hee, hee.
I am merrily twittering away, as is my wont. And, looking for something funny to say, I write up some plans of Tazwell's and mine, namely so see something at the NYPhil. Taz calls it: NYPhil with PhillyPhil. They're sold out, though, so he suggests scalping or sneaking in. No blood, no foul.
This is my tweet:

College friend is in town, we're thinking of sneaking into a sold-out show. The difference, 15 yrs older, we're aiming for the NY Phil.

But, heh, it turns out that NYPhil is the twitter account of the New York Philharmonic (smart folks) and this is the response:

@PGoedi Shall we alert the ushers to be on the lookout? ;)

Some might say, "Busted!"
I smell a challenge.
(I love this city.)

Monday, June 01, 2009

Coco Follow

He recently said that he likes living in New York because you're free in New York.
"Free in what sense, Coco?"
"You're free to eat pizza not the polite way."

Madge Monday

Madge has finished reading Coraline aloud to Coco for night-night time. He has requested Harry Potter I as his next book and she can't wait. But it seems I've been retired from the preliminaries and now only come in for the knock-out.

a bit of gardel

I read somewhere that they say in Argentina that his voice gets better every year.
I'd agree.