Sunday, January 31, 2010

can you believe it . . . more snow


But luckily it's very sunny, so the meltdown is in progress. In the meantime, great fun was had until it got too cold and then screams to get back inside were heard . . .

Saturday, January 30, 2010

lying in bed . . .


. . . watching it snow.

Again.


My daughter singing and playing with dolls in the living room.

Another Saturday.


In this strange, strange winter.

Friday, January 29, 2010

how do you measure a year in the life?

This lovely video does quite a nice job of capturing a year, I think . . .


From Rent, "Seasons of Love"

525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear.
525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee. In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
In 525,600 minutes - how do you measure a year in the life?
How about love? How about love? How about love? Measure in love. Seasons of love.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

a proud parenting moment

I guess I could be writing about how my daughter is just one of the sweetest kids on earth, always more concerned with others around her, especially littler ones, than herself. Or how her writing has gone from having to copy from a chart to independently writing her own words in just a few short months. Or how she just keeps growing like a weed and has more energy and enthusiasm than I could ever imagine in one little body. But the moment that stands out this week is that she sang along to "I Fought the Law" by the Clash and basically has the whole song down pat, even some of Joe's and Mick's inflections. Excuse me, I just got a little bit misty . . .

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

a whiff of spring

D.C. teased us with one glorious sixty degree day and then here we are, back in the cold. But you can't mess with nature, and there are signs that this cold blast in on the way out . . .

IMG_4377

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

these are a few of my favorite things . . .

Sam Elliott . . .

Now



And then

Monday, January 25, 2010

lostapalooza

Well, I finally made it through all five seasons of Lost on hulu.

Whew! I have lots of theories swimming through my head. And lots of impressions. But I'm ready for the final season next week, although I'm already feeling a little sad about not having another episode to queue up for viewing tonight. I will have to just see them on a weekly basis like the rest of the world from now on.

If you've never checked out Lost and always wanted to see a mysterious island/science fiction/action-adventure/time-traveling/conspiracy-theory/soap opera before, then it's not too late to try and catch up. Don't continue to read below if you're allergic to hints, my theories, or spoilers.


Impressions/favorite moments
  • My heart belongs to Sawyer, but Sayid is smokin' hot.
  • The smoke monster stopped in its tracks by Mr. Eko. I really miss Mr. Eko.
  • There is something just wonderful about Desmond and Penny. See you in another life, brother.
  • Why is Jack so annoying (or is that only me)?
  • Guns are bad (and everyone on the island is way too trigger-happy).
  • You All Everbody is damn catchy.
  • All the supporting characters are wonderful, but personal faves are Richard, Christian (I like him so much more than his hero son!), Rose & Bernard, Professor Arzt.
  • Hurley is just the best (Libby :sigh:)
  • Did anyone else love the season three "filler" episode Expose as much as I did? It was a great parody/alternate Jack/Kate story.
  • Locke may have been pathetic more times than not, but Jack telling him so in L.A. dropped him even more in my estimation, if that's possible. And disappointment to Richard, Ben, et al or no, the fact that the island healed Locke was significant. He was special.
Themes
  • Secrets and lies.
  • Good vs. evil.
  • Faith vs. coincidence Eko: Don't mistake coincidence for fate.
  • Daddy issues (Kate murdered hers, Jack and Jin are ashamed of theirs, Sawyer watched his kill himself, Sun & Locke have domineering and deceitful crooks of fathers, Lousy Father of the Year Award tie: Widmore & Ben - I could go on and on).
  • We're all connected.
  • What it means to be a parent.
  • Power struggles. Don't tell me what I can't do.

Theories:
  • The island attracts killers, or, if you haven't killed before, you will at some point after you arrive.
  • Jacob and his nemesis (brother?) may tie into the Egyptian symbology of Osiris and Set, Biblical Jacob & Esau, be inspired by the computer game Myst and its battling brothers on a mystical island, or all of the above.
Questions:
  • Why does no one share information (about mysterious polar bears or smoke monster sightings, metal hatches in the jungle, etc.)?
  • Was Rousseau "crazy" or was what she called a virus just the wrong name for what "infected" her crew (the Monster, or maybe Jacob's nemesis)?
  • Where did the Dharma supplies come from that the beach camp so eagerly grabbed and set up as their new pantry - the past, present or future?
  • What was the Dharma Initiative up to? For all the hippy tree-hugging, they seemed pretty evil.
  • "Ghosts" of Walt, Locke, Claire, Alex, and others who appear when they might not really be there. On the island are they the smoke monster in disguise or something, someone else? Back in the "real world" real ghosts appear to be visiting Hurley.
There's tons more, but that's enough for now. Any favorite theories you might like to share? I actually don't care if "all" the secrets are revealed in this final season or if some plot threads are left dangling. I think life, and art, needs a little mystery.

See ya on the island . . .

Sunday, January 24, 2010

the earth is round, really

Going through iPhoto and found this cool pic taken by the kid from the backseat of the car. . .


Saturday, January 23, 2010

a hot time in the old town



Last night as I was driving down our little one-way street looking for a parking place, I came face to face with a fire engine. Apparently someone in our building saw steam coming from the boiler room and called the fire department. You have to hand it to the firemen. It was a quick operation, but they pulled out all the stops, including a ladder to the roof for this false alarm. A little evening excitement.

Friday, January 22, 2010

interview

Starbucks in Washington DC

I usually run errands on my lunch break, prefering to eat a quick lunch at my desk while I work. Sometimes, depending on what errand I am pursuing, I stop into Starbucks on the way back to work for a treat. Because that is what they serve—massively sugar-laden treats. Don't fool yourself into thinking they are actual beverages. I'm not preaching—we all need a pick-me-up from time to time. My drug of choice happens to be a venti soy chai. How long before the Starbucks vanilla sugar syrup ends up on the list of illicit substances I don't know, but I'll enjoy this occasional indulgence while it lasts.

What I have been noticing more and more these days as I wait for my uber-tea is that Starbucks an adjacent table writing this blog on my iPhone . . . Why not?

I am curious whether Starbucks is being chosen as a nearby, neutral, friendly space as oppsed to an office, or if the interviews are for other virtual positons. A person could literally be hired and then "go to the office" at the same Starbucks. Or any of its myriad outposts.

A very possible, and quite expensive, and surely fattening possibility. And by the way, there's no such thing as a "skinny" latte. Just sayin' . . .

Thursday, January 21, 2010

these are a few of my favorite things . . .

Jean Brooks and Val Lewton's amazing black and white Greenwich Village spookiness in The Seventh Victim . . .

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

dmv

funny pictures

I had to go to the DMV today to get my residential parking permit. Over the weekend I had checked their website, where I could have ordered one online, which would have gotten to me in ten days (or more.) Not so great if I want to park on the block and not get a ticket over the next ten days (or more.) The alternate to online ordering would be to visit a service location. I thought I'd be better safe than sorry by calling the station and confirming that I could get what I needed from them. Great idea, except the endless phone loop that was the DMV answering system took ten minutes (or more) of punching extension after extension to finally arrive at a taped voice that advised me to order it online or visit a service location. Isn't being a grown-up and dealing with bureaucracy GREAT?

So I had to go to the DMV today to get my residential parking permit. The line wasn't too long and I got to the counter to be told by the attendant that my car dealership were LIARS and they should have processed the parking permit when they processed the registration. O.K., but that didn't happen, so how can I get a parking permit? He led me over to a public computer and suggested I order it online. Sigh.

While I was printing out the receipt, with the attendant actually attending me, a cab driver started calling over to him from his place on the line to help him. A back and forth started, with the cabby yelling at the attendant not to yell at him and me crouching lower and lower by the computer in case the gunfire was about to start. The attendant waved the cabby away and looked at my receipt. This won't do, you'll get a ticket. Sigh.

The cabby started arguing with him again. The attendant looked at me and then went behind the counter and started to process a new, correct, registration sticker for me, which in the normal DMV course of events would have taken ten days (or more) to accomplish.

I thanked him profusely and headed out, back to the non-DMV real world, as he reminded me to call the car dealer and tell them they were LIARS. I silently thanked the cabby for being such a jerk, which spun the wheel of fortune my way. A person can use all the help the universe has to offer.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

rest stop


I am giving us one more day at home as the tummy bug runs its course. The fact that she is taking an antibiotic for the ear infection at the same time complicates things a bit, as it can be gastro-distressing. This whole episode and how I'm not pushing us so hard to "get back to it" is the only way I can mimic my childhood for her.

When I was sick as a child I stayed home from school. My mom was there to take care of me. While we were still young children she was a stay-at-home mom. She did have a part-time job every once in a while to help out, and she also was a substitute teacher, which gave her the occasional chance to utilize her masters degree from Columbia Teacher's College. But if either my brother or I was ever sick, she would stay home with us. We would have to stay in bed if we were really sick, but as we got better (or more stir crazy) we could migrate out to the couch to watch cartoons. Juice, crackers, some yucky-tasting medicine were all part of it. Being sick was awful, but staying home with mom, out of school, was also fun.

As a single mom I worry that I don't have that much time with my daughter. So as annoying and worrying as experiencing my child being sick can be, it is also quality time. And the couch set-up is OK from the get-go. Maybe someday she'll look back on the days she stayed home from school, maybe not feeling so hot, but also watching movies and eating rice and hanging out with mom. And then she'll get to do it all over again with her daughter.

Monday, January 18, 2010

wash, rinse, repeat

It's a gorgeous day outside, but we are still laying low with tummy bug, etc. But there's always more laundry to do—the never-ending task of tasks.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Today's dvd marathon has so far included A Little Princess (a beautiful little film by Alfonso Cuaron) and School of Rock, which beats the heck out of Dora and friends any day. I heart Jack Black, and apparently my little apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

So now the laundry is folded and she's hopefully holding up Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I think we can do it, although there may have to be some judicious fast-forwarding . . .

Sunday, January 17, 2010

i cannot express how sick i am of being sick

So on top of her double ear infection, the kid also picked up whatever tummy bug was making the school rounds. Sigh. At least it's rainy and gloomy outside, so she doesn't feel like she's missing anything.

So today will be all about keeping her hydrated, lots of kid TV, and me trying to sneak in a Lost episode whenever I can during the random nap.

I'm halfway through season 3 and hopefully almost through with the season of sick. . .

Saturday, January 16, 2010

leave me where i am, i'm only sleeping

I have dim memories of watching Beatles cartoons when I was a kid, but this one seems really surreal. I've always loved this song, and it seems especially apt on weekend mornings. Skip ahead to 2:10 if you want to hear the song.

Friday, January 15, 2010

the sun comes back to D.C.


Air & Space cafeteria.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

hulu hula

I've been very happily Lost the past few weeks. How did I miss this show? Oh right, I have a five year old and it's been on for five years...

Anyway, it's never too late to join the party, luckily, especially with hulu and my fabulous MacBook Pro screen. So these days after the kid is tucked in bed I have been tucking myself in and settling back into an episode or two on my laptop. I'm halfway through season two at the moment.


I love television, always have, and enjoy shows in many different genres, but my favorites are usually found in mystery, fantasy or British categories (Buffy, Angel, Poirot, The Avengers, Farscape, Are You Being Served?, The Night Stalker, Lovejoythe list goes on and on). I wouldn't say that Lost is the greatest show I've ever seen, mostly because I shy away from superlatives, but it is damn good, as Sawyer might say. It manages to blend fantasy, mystery, romance, even a reality/Survivor feeling with excellent characterization. Most of the actors are top notch. Even with its intricate plotting the show, although full of quick-moving action, isn't afraid to let the characters take time to interact, both on the island and in glimpses of their past. Some might find it slow, but I love it.


Lost manages to tap into our deepest fantasies and fears. Who hasn't had a deserted island fantasy? What if you could start fresh, where nobody knew your baggage—is that even possible, or does it follow you to paradise? What could be scarier than a plane crash? Or your child being kidnapped? Or not being sure you can trust those around you? Or will you will be able to survive in a very unpredictable wilderness? What does it take to bring out your very worst or your very best? How interconnected are we all really, if we bothered to find out? But you get the idea. So excuse me. I've got some more episodes to catch up with . . .

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

billy at the beach

Billy at beach

This photo of my grandfather (center) goofing around with his friends looks like an outtake from some old movie version of Brideshead or Tom Brown's School Days or something similar, doesn't it?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

doing what's right

Although I firmly stated before that I don't make resolutions (and I meant it), I can already see that this year is going to be about me choosing to do what's best for my family and me. The heart wins over the part of the mind that dispenses guilt. Maybe truly a guilt free enterprise at last?

It probably sounds simple to most, but it was a hard decision for me to keep us home from work and school just one more day this morning. I actually got up, even though I was still feeling exhausted and started the morning prep. I peeked into my daughter's room and saw that she was lying across the bed the short way. Somehow that image convinced me and I canceled our morning routine and went back to bed.

Not until a few hours later did I realize that yesterday wasn't a true sick day or day off at all. What with the rush to the doctor's office and the waiting for meds at the pharmacy and the extra loads of laundry done and the back and forth about whether to do or even receive another medicine. Stressful. Ridiculous.

So today we are taking it really slowly. I'll go out at some point and get the second med and some BRAT diet staples. But that's it. Plenty of television and books and hopefully, even a nap are on the horizon. Because every day should be about us. Not just a laundry list. That's my goal.

Monday, January 11, 2010

wheezy?


The kid woke up at three crying—definite ear infection, which, after being at the doctor—turns out to be a double-ear infection. Why stop at one when you can have two?

The doc listened to her breathe and heard a slight wheeze, so wanted to albuterol her, which, after bringing the prescriptions to CVS, our insurance apparently doesn't cover. She's got a cold—shouldn't she have a slight wheeze?

I am not in any way a neglectful mom—in fact, I tend to worry more than less, but it seems like every time we go to the pediatrician's these days allergies are automatically profiled as asthma. And the next step is to medicate, medicate, medicate. I know these devices are outstanding for children who need them, but last year when she had that cough/cold that every kid in her class did that seemed to last all winter her doc suggested the inhaler. We did it for a week and her teachers started pulling me aside to ask if we had anything "going on" at home. Turned out the drugs really wacked her out and made her hyper and very unlike her usual self.

So as I look at her playing happily, quietly, no coughing, with her ear infection medication dose taken, I think to myself, do I really need this other thing? Do I care if my insurance rejects it?

Saturday, January 09, 2010

twists and turns


Yesterday we thought we would be going to visit a family member, but they had other plans. We decided to stay in and just watch movies, but I realized I needed some supplies to do the laundry.

As we headed out to Target I saw my car in what I thought was a great parking spot, but someone had dropped a garbage bag with a metal rod sticking out of it behind it, so I thought I better move it to a less perilous spot. We continued to Target, where I thought I was going to just pick up a few items, but you know how that goes. While there, we ran into a classmate of my daughter's and his family and we had an impromptu shopping play date and a quick lunch together.

When we got home I started the laundry where I ran into a neighbor who told me she had locked herself out of her apartment. I leant her my phone to call the building management and my daughter and I got to meet and get to know a new person while we waited for them to help her out.

After watching a dvd my daughter conked out for an unexpected nap and when she woke up had a temperature. I let her stay up a little later than usual to eat a little of her missed dinner.

It pays to be flexible.

afternoon (de)light

I was thinking of all the different places I've lived this morning.

When you live in older houses or apartments you are coming into spaces lived in, loved in, by others. Do the former inhabitants leave traces? The only place I have lived so far that was "new" was a model home ranch house that my parents bought when I was ten. I think I will think more on this, blog further on this train of thought, in future.

But the image that popped into my head this morning was the memory of the afternoon light in my fourth floor railroad apartment in Park Slope, Brooklyn. No matter what was going on in my life at the time, just hanging out in that room in the afternoon was always a soothing and reinvigorating experience.

To all the rooms we've loved before . . .

sc00307c1d

Friday, January 08, 2010

continuing the i ♥ apple theme . . .

. . . one of my favorite scenes from Zoolander.




[Talking about the files]
Hansel: They're *in* the computer?


J.P. Prewitt: The truth is male models have been assassinating world leaders for over 200 years. Abe Lincoln wanted to abolish slavery, right? Well, who do you think made the silk stockings and powdered wigs worn by our early leaders?
Derek Zoolander: Mugatu!
J.P. Prewitt: [pauses] Slaves, Derek. So they hired John Wilkes Booth to do Mr. Lincoln in. The first model/actor! Dallas. 1963. John F. Kennedy.
Matilda: Lee Harvey Oswald wasn't a male model.
J.P. Prewitt: You're goddamn right he wasn't, but the two lookers who capped Kennedy from the Grassy Knoll sure as shit were!

Derek Zoolander: Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?

Derek Zoolander: Why do you hate models, Matilda?
Matilda: Honestly?
Hansel: Yes.
Matilda: I think they're vain, stupid, and incredibly self-centered.
Hansel: I totally agree with you. But how do you feel about male models?


Thursday, January 07, 2010

oh my god what have i done

I brought a PC into the house. Or at least, Grandma thought that it would be great for my daughter to have her own computer, so after Xmas we went to Best Buy and got her a little $300 netbook.

I've had to parental-control it up the wazoo, but there are some fun sites her teachers have recommended for her to try that have counting and alphabet games, etc.

While we were at Best Buy my mom was immediately attracted to the Apple merchandise.

Well, duh. But not for the kid. Yet.

Of course if Uncle Steve comes out with the not-so-secret-surprise tablet that we are all expecting to hear about at the end of the month I might have wished we waited and kept it a PC-free home. It's bad enough I have to use these things at work, right? Except I'd probably not want to share with the kid and want one for myself . . .

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

cool for cats

And meanwhile at the station
There's a couple of likely lads
Who swear like how's your father
And they're very cool for cats


To change the mood a little
I've been posing down the pub
On seeing my reflection
I'm looking slightly rough

We've been listening to some of my old CDs lately in the car and this song never fails to make me smile. It's one of the few Squeeze songs where Chris Difford takes the lead, rather than Glenn Tilbrook's sweet tenor. And Jools Holland is having too much fun. I saw these guys play so many times back in my good old New York days . . . Plus, the video is a riot. Yes, that was the beginning of the eighties . . .

I said I'll see you later
And I give her some old chat
But it's not like that on the TV
When it's cool for cats

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

très chic

Today is my grandmother's birthday—or as she preferred to be called, Grand’mére.

She was always elegant, well-traveled, and lively—a true lady.

Elegant Mariette2

Monday, January 04, 2010

big rock candy mountain

DC snow removal



Sunday, January 03, 2010

mamma mia

It's so cold in DC today, too cold to cavort outside, so my daughter suggested we watch Mamma Mia instead. Watching Meryl Streep & Co. cavort in Greece does have a warming effect, as does watching my daughter laugh and sing along to the songs.

There is absolutely nothing beyond Meryl's scope, and I am getting a kick out of my daughter recognizing her in ads or in other movies and shouting "It's mamma mia!"

You go, girls.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

i am resolute . . .


. . . not.

I have never really gotten into New Year's resolutions, as I don't ever really think about the new year starting in January. For me it's in September, when my birthday is, when school starts. That's always been my true calendar. And I don't like to make a promise I can't keep. All that said, I do hope that calendar year 2010 eases up a bit on the stress quotient for me and mine (and you all, too.) And in my relentless pursuit to better myself, or at least not completely fritter away the time I have on this earth, I would like to:
Not get so easily upset/frustrated/angry with the sort of stupid daily crap that gets me upset/frustrated/angry

Continue to work on the myriad art/computer/craft projects that I have started and have yet to finish

hug my kid more and laugh and smile more

try not to sweat the big stuff, either

keep learnin'
How'd that decade sneak by me so fast, anyway?

Friday, January 01, 2010

hippy nude jeer!







All the best for 2010!

xoxoxo e