Saturday, February 28, 2009

home again, home again

Continuing yesterday's train of thought, if what I suspect about facebook and its effect on how we form and maintain friendships is true, than what will this mean for my daughter's generation?

She is in preschool with kids she has known since she was seven months old, already very remote from my childhood experience, barring growing up with my baby brother. Some friends have already moved on, attending kindergarten earlier, based on their birthday or school policies. So far she has been able to keep up with them. via the occasional playdate. Next year it will splinter off even more, with kids attending kindergarten based on where they live, rather than where their parents work. If this was my childhood, of oh so many years ago, that would be that. But with tools like facebook, she could theoretically keep in touch with babyhood pals throughout her life. I already am a facebook friend with parents of some of the kids that moved on last year, so the connections have been forged.

What will it mean for her to never be out of touch? Will she be living in an "internet small town" that functions like the sorts of towns you see in the movies where everyone knows everyone else? How ironic that some "communities" will be so closely knit, when the family in the next apartment might be total strangers.

I can't know any of this for sure, but it seems a logical progression. Some might be put off by the prospect, but it occurs to me that when we form friendships as children, they are tight, loyal, and full of love and other intense feelings. It might not be so bad to carry on such relationships virtually, even as a person moves on geographically. Maybe holding on to the loves and friendships of childhood will create a more loving, less anxious generation. I hope so.

Friday, February 27, 2009

you CAN go home again

I been thinking lately that facebook is really affecting our lives (at least the bazillion or so who are using it.) If we don't all get bored and replace it with virtual sky-diving or whatever, the patterns of our lives will continue to change. We know that we are more mobile than our grandparents' generation, but the Internet is facilitating a more subtle change from our parents'. We used to be able to think of our lives as phases, or stages, mostly broken up by school, family, etc.

For instance, my life can be divided into: childhood, spent mostly with Mom, elementary school, high school, college, the drifting you do after college, adulthood, job1, job2, job3, etc. My parents moved quite a bit when we were kids, so these divisions are even geographical in some cases. With each "stage" there was also a new group of friends. As I moved on (or was moved) most likely those friendships petered out or were forgotten. This is a sad, but typical part of growing up, which I had to get used to. But I am on facebook now, and miraculously have been put back in touch with people from my past that I had lost track of or who had lost track of me.

So what will this do to my sense of the past being the past?

If I am nostalgic for college, I don't have to try and root out some old photos and notebooks and sigh and think, whatever became of...all I have to do is check my updates and see that one friend is making chili for dinner, another is feeling frustrated about something, and another is making travel plans. They can look at my status and see that I just had a hot chocolate. I can even compartmentalize my friends by each period of my life or by location. And what about that one cool person from the not-so-cool job you both left years ago? Never going to see her again - but no, there she is, living in Florida. We can have a virtual Margarita together. With salt, if you please.

Facebook is even infiltrating into my family history. My Uncle John was always talking about his grandfather's brother, and how they both left Italy. Apparently his grandfather got on one boat, which landed in New York and that's where our branch of the family settled, and the other brother took a boat which headed for South America, possibly Argentina, and was never heard from again. A big family mystery that no one could ever solve, until...I don't have the full story yet, but I have been, through facebook, in contact with a whole new, young generation of folks with my same last name in Argentina, Chile, Spain and Italy. Pretty amazing.

What will this all mean? Will our lives become just one big blur, with past, present, and future all smushed together? Well, they probably already were, but facebook facilitates the blurring. I can't see anything really bad about any of this, but it is a little freaky sometimes to post an update and generate comments from a co-worker, a cousin, in Spanish, someone I haven't seen since high school, and an old college chum. But this is my blurry, modern, life.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

will Norman save or sink American Idol?

Yes, I watch it, get over it. I will admit that I started watching the show after an evening of cruising past my 100+ channels and coming up with absolutely nothing to watch. When I flipped for the third time past "the singing show," my then two-year-old started to squeal with delight and dance. I can't hide behind her anymore, however, as I'm still watching and I control the remote, at least for now.

Last night, as Norman did his cabaret act, I was wondering, not for the first time this season, if he had an agenda to bring the whole juggernaut to a screeching stop. He was hardly the only one from the auditions this year whose motives seemed suspect. Besides the usual goof-offs who just want to get shown on television, Season 6's "vote for the worst" Sanjaya debacle may have also spawned numerous folks just dying to vie for this year's anti-votes.

Watching Simon cringe as Norman performed was as amusing and entertaining as Norman. Although Simon claims that his resistance to Norman's charms stems from the fact that he doesn't think this contestant is taking the competition seriously, I think it is more that Norman doesn't fit into the pop product mold for which this show is designed. Norman is actually more on point than Simon, who has ceased to realize that ultimately, the judges opinions mean nothing when America votes for such diverse people as Taylor Hicks, Clay Aiken and Carrie Underwood. America doesn't seem to care about musical style (rock versus pop), or sometimes even talent, as long as it is entertained. So maybe Norman will have the last laugh - if he gets the votes. Two of the judges, Randy and Kara, are at least willing to be entertained. And maybe Norman is just being true to himself, with his disco-ball shirt (although he should ditch the shorts.) Maybe this isn't about his fifteen minutes. Maybe he just wants to be a star.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

worst movies ever?

Watching the Oscars the other night made me think of how many hours I have spent watching movies. Some have been entertaining, even transforming, but admittedly, there are some hours of my life spent in front of the large, or even small, screen that I will never get back. So I thought a little 'worst movies ever' meme might be called for.

My list isn't really about the Battleship Earth sort of disaster. Or film critics' consensus. These are movies that I went into the theater to see, with high hopes that were dashed, or petered out, slowly and painfully.

Amusingly, I realize, after starting this list, that for many, these films might show up on their "best" lists. To each his own. In no particular order:

Suburbia was incomprehensible, but even worse, boring as the suburban hell it sought to depict.

Lawrence of Arabia, I know, is a classic. I sat through the whole damn thing and learned nothing about T.H. Lawrence except that an extremely long film was made about him and to be sure to pee before you stake out your seat in the theater, because it's a long time until intermission. I will say that the one bright spot in my memory of this film was a scene where the blue of Peter O'Toole's eyes and the blond of his hair matched the desert sky and sand perfectly.

Matrix 3. Whatever. I love the blank beauty that is Keanu, but I couldn't take this mess.

Anything by Kenneth Branagh post Emma Thompson. Let's face it, he hasn't done anything good in a long, long time. Frankenstein? Any of his Shakespeare bowdlerizations?

Seabiscuit. Just shoot the damn horse or shoot me, because I can't take this one more minute. Except I had to, because I was on vacation, trapped in a movie theater with my whole family who thought it would be "fun" to see this slow-motion torture. They liked it.

I was given The English Patient on video because the person gifting was sure I'd love it. I tried to watch it more than once and fell asleep every time before the "must see" scene - something with beautiful wall paintings. I refuse to make another attempt.

2001 A Space Odyssey. I know, I know. But I'm sorry, except for a little of the monkeys in the beginning and HAL at the end this is just one long suck. I remember being so excited as a kid when this came to the local movie theater. After a lackluster viewing, I figured I just didn't get it. Years later, still don't get what all the fuss is about. I've heard that it's better if you read the Arthur C. Clarke book. Except it's a movie and should work without a text.

Forget Divine Brown. Nine Months is dumbest thing Hugh Grant ever did in Hollywood.

Dune. Even Sting in a leather bikini can't save this. Or sink it. It's just too awful.

So there's ten (counting two Branaghs) for starters. Any "great" films you wish you never saw?

Monday, February 23, 2009

oscar, oscar, oscar

I used to give Oscar parties. Actually, it was sort of a tradition that my friends (and I) would look forward to. When my movie-buff friend Mary and I would co-host the party, sometimes things could get quite elaborate, with fancy ballots and cool prizes. We would theme the party to coincide with the fabulous movie-related gift. One year the prize was an authentic vintage 1960s James Bond (Sean Connery, of course) action figure, in white tux jacket, with Beretta. I have to admit that I won that year and still have my gift in his original packaging.

As interested in watching and critiquing movies as I am, since I've had my daughter my movie going has dropped to almost nil. I used to at least keep up with everything new coming out, whether I chose to see it or not. Now the kid is telling me, "Look, The Tale of Despereaux!" when she sees an ad on television or in a bus kiosk. Of course we usually don't end up going, because she still isn't really old enough to enjoy the movie experience - even kid movies in the theater seem to be a fidget-fest or an invitation to nap. So I end up scheduling the rare film viewing that I simply must see on my day off. I finally get around to seeing the ones that I might have seen in first-run when they hit cable. If I can stay up that late...

Last night as I watched the Oscars, as much for the gowns (as always) as the random flashes of humor (Steve Martin and a very wicked Ben Stiller), I realized that there was one nominated movie that I had seen last year. Kung Fu Panda.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


A five-year old's party can be a mixed bag, but our extravaganza was a success, I think, for both kids and grown-ups alike. That in itself is as much as anyone could ask. And the kid let me sleep late, bless her.

Friday, February 20, 2009

fine whine

Why are most if us so turned off by the sound of a whining child? Apart from the obviously annoying sound of a whine, how does it hone in, laser-like, to the part of our being that makes our skin crawl?

I've been wondering lately that if I somehow squelch her whining I might be preventing her from having an outlet to vent her frustrations. At five she can't exactly have a girls' night out and slurp margaritas to blow off steam. If a kid's whine is constantly stoppered, will they grow up to be one of those annoying people who complain all the time and are just a drag to be around, thus channeling their years of frustrated whining into their role as the office bore? You know the type. We all know someone like that.

So depending on the occasion, I am considering, next time a whiny moment occurs (and I doubt I'll have to wait long to test my theory), I may just let her rip. Except if I'm just not in the mood. Or she's whining ad nauseum about the same darn thing. Or the sound of the whine feels like something hard and sharp boring into my brain. You know, except for that...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

lucy in the sky with diamonds

I don't necessarily like this animation from Yellow Submarine. My own mental images are much more beautiful, but it is a wonderful song.

My mom used to play this when we were being difficult, not wanting to go to sleep at bedtime. We would ask her to play one more song. Sort of a lullaby, I guess.

Picture yourself in a boat on a river
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes

Cellophane flowers of yellow and green
Towering over your head
Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes
And she's gone...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

five years

Cinque annos. Cinque ans. Cinco años. My daughter is almost five.

How have we changed these past five years? She has grown tall and beautiful and intelligent and willful and loving and temporarily deaf when it suits her.

I have grown frazzled and delighted and cranky and worried and amazed and hopeful and fearful and impatient.

I need to relax and enjoy more and not let the hectic schedule of our lives always set the pace. Hopefully she will continue to be patient with me as I try to learn this.

She needs to slow down and pay attention and only get sucked into the huge media machine from time to time.

It's a big huge world out there full of wonderful things just waiting for her.

Hopefully I will be able to share with her what I love and guide her only slightly and let her choose and discover what she truly loves.

Monday, February 16, 2009

mime versus meme

There's been quite a bit of meme-bashing lately, specifically facebook's viral "25 things" meme, where the narrator lists 25 random facts or self observations. Narcissistic? Perhaps. Revealing? Depends on the narrator. Too much information? Interestingly enough, rarely.

No one really "reads" a computer screen. We scan (which is why I'm a little dubious of "reading" on a Kindle, but to each his own.) Anyone who is tagged with this or other memes, such as the "initial letter" list can choose to skip around, picking random facts randomly, read religiously and answer with a list of one's own, or skip entirely. They're flying fast and furiously on facebook, being pasted into blogs or sent via email, but facebook seems the source and best home for this "getting to know you" activity. My favorite meme of the past few days is the "15 favorite albums" meme. Not only was it difficult for me to think in terms of albums - iTunes has made me even more song-centered than I was already - but it forced me to really think about what albums were on repeat in my head and in my life. My daughter will probably only have a similar sort of experience with DVDs of her favorite movies.

Reading other folk's lists as they post them is proving fascinating. Not only giving me a slice of their life, but also nudging me towards checking out some new or not-heard-in-a-long-time music. That sort of information sharing can only lead to good things. So give memes a chance. You never know what you might find out.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

where it's at

So many changes lately, but they can only be for the better. A new president who seems cognizant of the tough times ahead can only be a good thing. The rise of digital use on so many fronts - work, family, play, is rapidly changing the way we live. The way many folks use the 'net has changed just over the past two years. It certainly has for me. I blog, tweet, and facebook. Yes everyone, the olds have taken over social media. Of course this starts the immediate youth snobbery of "if everyone is on facebook, twitter, etc. What will the kids do next?" We'll have to see, but we won't have to wait long to find out.

In the meantime, facebook is growing stronger. It written up in the mainstream media regularly it seems, so even the farthest flung may now check it out just out of curiosity. It's easy to be dismissive of facebook, with it's goofy applications that have just that whiff of the AOL that your mom is still using. But what I have noticed about facebook is how, once you're on it and connected with your regular group of friends from your email address book, it insidiously takes over your form of communication. A few years ago we were all remarking, some lamenting, that no one picks up the phone anymore, that we email instead. In the seven months since I've been on facebook my personal emailing has dropped to almost nil. Status updates (and sometimes quizzes) are the way to keep in touch. At work email still reigns supreme. Despite efforts to create a "professional" presence by colleagues posting only work-related items, facebook seems more geared towards pithy remarks and restaurant tips. It is truly social. The ability it gives you to arrange and categorize your friends is also fascinating. I have my friends listed by location, association. This is a boon for the Virgo mind. I can decide how much to share and with whom. At a glance I can read updates from different periods of my life, past, present, from all across the U.S., parts of Europe, and South America. I have found (or been found by) far-flung relatives, folks from my childhood and college years, friends of friends. And we all update each other, making the strange soup that is my particular friend's group. Viewing another friend's page gives you a glimpse into their particular soup.

Will facebook kill email? Will twitter? For some, maybe. Will facebook and twitter be able to encroach on business-mode communication? At the moment they haven't figured out how. They might not need to, if they do become the prime method of internet social interaction.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


When I was in kindergarten there was a boy named Patrick. Every day he would come over and pull my hair or push me or somehow or other find a way to touch me or bug me. I went home and cried to my mother, "Patrick hates me!" "She soothed me and said, "No honey, he probably likes you. That's just his way of showing it."

The next day I went in to school, all excited. Every time I saw Patrick I gave him a starry-eyed smile with a big "Hi, Patrick!" He didn't bother me anymore that day, after that actually avoided me.

My skills with men are still about par with this experience.

My daughter loves this story.

Happy Valentines Day!

Friday, February 13, 2009


I've never thought Friday the 13th was an unlucky day. In fact, aren't all the unlucky things supposed to be turned on their head on the 13th? Sort of reverse mojo?

I am respectful, sometimes wary of the number 13, however - could you make that 12 or 14 acupuncture needles, please? I also don't want to walk under a ladder - but that's just practical, right? Certainly many so-called superstitions are what we have accepted through the ages as good advice, such as:
When you believe in things
That you don't understand
Then you suffer
Superstition ain't the way
Stevie Wonder

I'm trying to keep a balance between the fun beliefs that I have decided to add to my personal repertoire through the years and the fears that try to crowd in, like money or health anxieties. Every day is a work in progress. Good luck!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I'm feeling a bit squirrely. Between planning a five-year-old's birthday party (to which everyone is coming - yay! but also yipe!), trying to help her get out a ton of Valentines for tomorrow, putting off doing laundry, wondering if we have time to make said Valentines and still visit our local favorite Mexican restaurant tonight, deal with all I have to do at work...did I mention I'm feeling squirrely?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

bleghhh in advertising

What is all the fuss about Shepard Fairey and his use of a not-so-great photo to create some great, iconic, poster art? Artists have been working from photographs since there was photography. Check out Degas and Bonnard, to name a few. They didn't only work from photographs, but became accomplished photographers. It's not a big deal to work from a photographic source and the end result is not any less "art."

If you want to waste time pointing a finger at a blatant rip-off, look no further than the latest Pepsi campaign, which not only co-opts the Obama campaign's logo, but is now using it with the word "change" in its print ads. As if that is the change anyone needs. I've never been a fan of Coke's red-headed stepchild anyway, but they just guaranteed that this swill will not find a way into my home. Pass the Dr. Pepper...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I told my daughter she was a winter baby this morning. She soon turns five.

But the snow drops are blooming and the magnolia trees are in bud at the Castle...

Sunday, February 08, 2009


I just finished Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. I enjoyed it. What really struck me, as I read it, were all the "links" I could make. Some placed within the novel by Gaiman, some brought to the experience of reading by the particular reader, me.

Neverwhere tells the story of an everyman, Richard Mayhew, who is swept into another world beneath the streets of London, called London Below. This other London is peopled by those who have fallen through the cracks of our world, as well as some fanciful and pretty horrible characters, and also ones with otherworldly powers. I enjoyed the character and in-joke of the Marquis of Carabas and was concerned about his fate, maybe more than any other character in the story. Not that I didn't like Richard, but the Marquis was more engaging. But that's true of the Wizard of Oz (film), too, which is numerously referenced in Neverwhere. Everyone has a favorite character from that classic film. Mine was and still is the Tin Man, although I think the most intrepid member of Dorothy's crew may well have been Toto. Richard, like Dorothy, spends much of his time wanting to go back home. In this upside-down fairy tale he gets his wish and then gets to change his mind. What I found most intriguing about Richard was that even though he has completely lost his identity in the London he knows and has become a walking metaphor of the homeless, faceless poor that try to live off the city streets with all-too-short a life, he never completely loses touch with who he is. No matter who he runs across in the strange societies of London Below, he never hesitates to introduce himself, with his full name, "I'm Richard Mayhew." Maybe he's just more polite than my fellow Americans, but I was impressed.

Another interesting aspect of Neverwhere is the idea of youth, and growing up. One could read the story of Richard's adventures in London Below as his maturation process. But I also saw it as a depiction of what it's like to be young in the city. City life and youth itself can be exciting, dirty, scary, sexy, even life-threatening. If Richard chose to return to his (our) normal world, he could always look back on his time with the Marquis and Door and the others as his wild youth, much like many of us have dim but pleasant memories of our own youthful escapades.

While reading Neverwhere I experienced echoes of other books I have recently read and enjoyed. As each step of Richard's journey took him closer to somewhere or someone even stranger or more dangerous than the last, reading can take you on a larger journey, from book to book, weaving a common thread through different stories. A few months back I read Rune by Christopher Fowler, whose Bryant and May mystery series I enjoy. Like Neverwhere, Rune is set in London with a male protagonist who doesn't yet realize he might like to break free from his relationship with a perfect woman who isn't perfect for him. An interesting yet offbeat young woman comes into his life and the story is off and running. More a horror story than fantasy, Rune still makes for a good read. In fact my only quibble with both books is that there is a lot, maybe too much, flowing blood. As good as both of these writers are, I was wondering how horrible Neverwhere's Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar could still have been without the need to be overly descriptive of half-eaten kittens and the like.

I also recently finished Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series, with the wonderful female protagonist Lyra Silvertongue. These books start out in an alternate Oxford and then take off for worlds familiar and imaginary. I can't say enough about this great series of books, except that I look forward to my daughter being old enough to enjoy them. In the meantime I will most likely be reaching for Gaiman's latest and see where the book will take me and what other books and worlds I may discover on the way.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

parrino kaleidoscope

I was thinking of Steven Parrino the other day.

I met Steven at Parsons, in the Fine Arts Department, where he was a few years ahead of me. He inspired a cartoon character for my animation class, where I did a short film, The Amazing Adventures of Bugman. When I told him about the character he wasn't sure whether to be flattered or insulted, but was OK with it and wanted to see the results.

He helped me get my first (paying) job (I worked for my dad's newspaper as a layout artist, typesetter, etc. when I was in high school), at Canal Jean Co., in New York.

One day Parrino, my friend Mary and I went out for our lunch break from Canal to the nearby Greek diner and ordered our usual cheeseburgers and fries. Parrino was telling a story and as he was talking, a large cockroach walked sideways on the wall beside him. Mary and I were struck dumb with horror, but he nonchalantly picked up the ketchup bottle, squashed the roach, and finished the story, without missing a beat. Mary and I were beyond impressed.

Once at a party Parrino and I danced to Elvis Costello's Mystery Dance. He was a wild man on the dance floor, but never took off his leather jacket, even though the party was crowded and it was hot. Sometimes I wondered if he slept in that jacket.

I had a dream once with Parrino in it, where he was constructing an elaborate sculptural piece that would shoot a knife blade across a room to cut someone's throat (I had just been reading Kafka and was probably under the influence.) In the dream the knife went in slow motion and I saw it heading towards him, but then the perspective shifted and I was looking down at blood flowing very slowly - down my neck, my chest. I woke up, gasping. The next day at Parsons I looked for Parrino everywhere, but he wasn't around. Finally after classes were over he showed up, wearing a white wind breaker. It was the only time I ever saw him in white. This vivid dream inspired a set of red paintings and an installation where Parrino, at my request, supplied the music. Of course he did it on his terms. I was very much into the Clash and had even contacted someone at Clash, Inc. (the band had an office in New York) to ask permission to use their music as background for my installation. Their representative said yes and even came to the show at Parsons on the day it was open. Of course what she heard when she arrived didn't sound much like the Clash - Steven had sampled the tape of songs I gave him and distorted them until they became a wall of noise.

I'm not sure when I last saw Parrino, but I recall a visit to his Brooklyn studio. Later we went out to a local diner and he had french fries, but ordered them with mayo, as he was still jazzed having just come back from Amsterdam.

I was really upset last year to hear that he had died in a motorcycle accident. And that was more than a year after the fact. I hadn't seen or heard about him in years, but he was someone from my life, my past. And he was an individual and a painter. And an inspiration.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

angels in the snow

It was snowing this morning and might again tonight, but most of last week's snow and ice are just a nice memory.

When I was a kid we grew up with a family portrait of a little boy, from the Victorian era, Uncle Walter. He was my grandmother's uncle. He died young, at age five or six, I think. The popular family legend was that he was outside playing in the snow and he later that same day caught pneumonia and died. Somehow this morphed into "he died making angels in the snow." I'm sure my great grandmother was trying to romanticize a family tragedy, the loss of her beloved baby brother.

For years, I couldn't hear the phrase "angels in the snow" without thinking ruefully of Walter. But now the spell is broken, as I watch my daughter's pure joy and smile and realize that Walter must have also had a blast on that day so many years ago, making angels in the snow.

Monday, February 02, 2009

are you socially inept?

Born in a barn?

Lacking in the social graces?

Possibly completely devoid of class?

Why else would you tap a woman's stomach and ask, "Have you gained weight?" And subsequently, after being stared down with a look of death tempered by disbelief, would you continue on with, "Is everything O.K.?"

What planet is such a person from? Apart from the social taboo of discussing a woman's weight, what about the invasion of personal space? Why should your victim feel obligated to start explaining PMS bloat or just having a "fat day" to the likes of someone like you?

My paternal grandmother used to say whatever came off the "top of her head," but I can't recall her being rude or making such a faux-pas. She was cute, even funny. This was neither.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

white rabbits x3

Did you say "white rabbits, whites rabbits, white rabbits" first thing today for luck? Or "rabbit rabbit" or any of the very many variations? I remembered to. It's a superstition that is believed to have originated in England, although no one agrees to how far back it goes.

My mom is British - she was born in Folkestone - but she doesn't remember the superstition. Her British father and her American mother lived most of their married life in Paris until my grandmother and my mother left Europe when my mother was the age of five. My grandmother was able to use the War as an excuse for them to move in with her family, although the real reason was that my grandmother was divorcing my grandfather. A big deal and quite difficult to be a single mom in the 1930s (not that it's a walk in the park, today, either). I have to hand it to my grandmother, who managed to raise my mom, work, and still maintain a positive outlook on life. She was never one to reveal her emotions in a big way, unlike the other, Italian/Sicilian members of my family, but she is definitely responsible for my work ethic and my iron-willed determination (that can sometimes be a little heavy on the iron, but, that's how it goes.)

White rabbits x3 may be British in origin, but I think my desire to incorporate it into my personal collection of superstitions probably does come from the Sicilian/Italian in me. Wives tales, folklore and superstitions seemed to part of the daily vocabulary of my father's family. Here are some of my favorites:
  • Throw salt over your shoulder if you spill it
  • Don't split a pole when walking with someone
  • No hats on the bed!
  • Knock on wood if you speak of something that might bring bad luck
  • Finding a heads up penny bring good luck
  • And of course...