Friday, August 24, 2007

slowly I turn...

Just returned from Niagara Falls. Endlessly tacky, drawing in the tourist equivalent of the U.N.: every conceivable race, nationality and religion was here, buying needless souvenir shot glasses.

The natives were nice enough, if not a little humorless. For example: At the check-in at the end of Rainbow Bridge, the border patrol guy looked over our paperwork. He almost said hello.

"How do I get to the Sheraton Fallsview?" I asked, summoning up as much charm as I could, given that I had been driving for, what, maybe 7, 8 hours and looked like hell.

"Just go straight ahead."

I looked ahead. There were 3 different paths one could consider "straight ahead."

"Well, there are 3 roads that are straight ahead," I said, charmingly.

"Take the straight one."

"Uh, but the one on the right says "To the falls."

"That's on the right."


"So it's not straight ahead."

"Okayyyy...but there are 3 roads that are straight ahead."

"Take the straight one."

I peered at him intently now, to see if he was just being playful.

"So I take the middle one."

He looked at me disdainfully, convinced that I was yet another idiot American tourist, and explained how to get to where I needed to be. Never cracked a smile. I still think he was playing.

The Falls are truly breathtaking, but the town is kinda hung up on their tightrope walkers and wax. Wax everywhere: wax movie stars, wax rock stars, wax famous criminals...celebrities in wax everywhere, not always rendered flatteringly.

At the entrance of the Movieland wax place, Remy asked, "Who's THAT?"

"That's Brendan Fraser. From the Mummy."

"Oh. His hair looks like a toupee."

"Well, it is, because he's made of wax."

"Yeah, but it's all falling off. I mean, he doesn't even look real."

"Yes. That's because he's made of WAX. That's why I won't pay to go through these wax places, because what's the point of seeing celebrities made of wax? It's stupid. Think about it."

Score one for mom, sucking the fun out of a childhood vacation.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

remy almost drops his drawers

Remy was just in a live back-to-school fashion show on the local morning show 10!

That's the name of the show, 10! I guess because it's on the air at 10! and it's on Channel 10! And 10! is exciting!

As it happens, Remy is 10! Wow, spooky!

Anyway, it was his first modeling gig. We arrived at the studio way too early, as I usually make the mistake of being late, or, more frequently, allotting way too much time for unforeseen disasters, like traffic jams, flat tires, car crashes, bridge collapses, etc. Anything can happen, but it usually doesn't, so I ended up arriving about, oh, 35 minutes too early.

They didn't have much in the way of refreshments, so they brought the kids some soda and candy. Just like breakfast at home.

Remy was outfitted in a rather ugly orange striped polo shirt, and jeans about 2 sizes too big. He's an odd size: very tall, but skinny, so for pants to fit him in the waist, they end as long as his knees. To get them long enough, they're 2 sizes too big in the waist. Which is usually ok, given that the baggy, sloppy, look-at-my-underwear look is apparently still in. Which would still be ok, provided the pants actually could find a home on his hips. Which are virtually nonexistent.

But they didn't. They fell right to the floor. Which would've made for great live TV.

Nobody seemed to think that was a great idea, so there was a mad rush around the studio for something to hold them up. The PA found a big black clip thing and we clipped about 3 inches in the back. That's a good look.

The gal announced his name, and he strode up on stage (LIVE! Before a STUDIO AUDIENCE!) And he stood there, kinda swaying as if listening to some silent rap music in his head, put his hands at his pockets, eyes on the camera but couldn't resist checking his look on the studio monitor..and smiled. He smiled and smiled, and kinda giggled at one point, but he looked pretty comfortable out there on stage. Then they brought the other 3 kids up, these adorable 1st and 2nd graders..and there he is, towering over them. They did ok.

We discovered the unglamorous reality of live TV: lots of people running around with walkie talkies attached to them. And the host of the show? Always shorter than you

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Monday, August 13, 2007

mystify me, mitt

I feel like riffing on Mitt Romney.

Why? I dunno. I'm mystified by this guy. Where the heck did he come from?

First of all, he's pretty hot for a 60-something guy. I'd do him, if Mick Jagger weren't around. Well, to be honest, the idea of doing Mick Jagger sets my teeth on edge. Ok, no Mick Jagger. Ok, still, for a friggin' 64-year-old, he's pretty fit. Ok, ok.

(Unfortunately, I'm at that awkward age where it's totally unrealistic to entertain the possibility of getting busy with a kid half my age; yet, the idea of doing some 60-year-old guy seems totally preposterous, because he's so OLD.)

So here's Mitt, a successful businessman (who has yet to divest himself of holdings in a company in Sudan, which promotes genocide) who happens to be a one-term governor, has this annoying tendency to "misspeak," and can't seem to make up his mind about important issues.

Who's very attractive. And articulate. Which, of course, makes him the antichrist.

And what's with the name, anyway? I just went along wth "Mitt" because I was too lazy to question it. "Mitt." Ok, the guy's named after a baseball glove. Mitt. It seemed odd that the MSM didn't pay more attention to his first name.

Mitt. Mitt. Mitt Romney. Nope, says CNN, nothing unusual about that, nosiree. I mean, they've got Wolf Blitzer on staff.

This started to bug me last night, after I'd been out with the girls and had a few blue hawaiians. Turns out--and I had to look it up because I truly had never heard the MSM use his real first name--Mitt's real first name is "Willard."


So, Willard conjures up a pretty negative image. Say it: President Willard Mitt Romney. Absolutely not.

In baseball, there are good baseball names, like "Jose," "Chipper," "Chase," "Wily Mo," "Crash," "Dizzy," "Catfish," "Rocco Baldelli."

"Mitt" is simply not a good presidential name. (Think "Grover Cleveland.") President Oven Mitt. President Baseball Mitt. President Mitten. It just doesn't work. And for that reason alone, the man should not be elected president.

little weirdnesses

You know how you have one of those days--maybe more than one in a row--where weird stuff happens? Not earth-shattering, devastating weird stuff, but find a turtle in your bathroom, or when the printer gets jammed at work, all you have to do is stare at it to get it working again, or you have an hilarious conversation with the previously anonymous postman...just something a little out of the ordinary?

After dropping the kids off at camp, the truck broke down in the middle of an intersection in Mt. Holly. Just quit. About a month ago the same thing happened, and we installed a new fuel filter and pump. At a cost of several hundred dollars.

So the guy tows us back to Mr. B's, (who is no longer my favorite mechanic) unloads the truck off the lift, crawls underneath, bangs on the bottom, and starts it up again.

Of course he didn't think to do this before towing it. Frankly, neither did we. It's like that printer at work. How would you know something will work if it never occurs to you to try it? He surmised it was some clog or another. I wonder if it will cost us another several hundred dollars for Mr. B to come to the same conclusion?

Later, I watched as 2 wandering Jehovah's Witnesses took a picture of my bumper magnets. I'm not sure if they thought they were amusing or are planning to report me to FBI.

The weird thing is, they didn't come up and knock on the door.

Friday, August 10, 2007

kid spying

I’ve just spent the last 10 minutes or so surreptitiously watching my youngest son, Remy, acting out the complete plot of Weird Al’s “Stuck in the Drive-Thru.”

When Boo was younger, he used to wear pajama bottoms on his head and dance around his room. I’d watch him, reflected in the glass of the attic door, so he wouldn’t see me.

They don’t do this kind of stuff if they know you’re watching.

Monday, August 06, 2007

parents ruin everything

Oh, my, lots of life just zoomed by.

I got a MacBook. YAY! I love Apple!

Slide show was a success, thank you. Yay Keynote! Frigging suckass powerpoint is officially history.

Just finished up Tri-County weekend, in which the boys swam respectably and the adults, most notably those from Pheasant Run, acted like chimpanzees in the stands, hooting and hollering and going "oooo ooooo oooo" each time one of their swimmers finished an event. But I overheard an account of their team cheating during a meet, in which the other team's relay won on the touch, and proven on film, but by the time the cards made their way to the announcer, the outcome had been changed to reflect a Pheasant Run win. And with that event win, they won the meet. Oh, did I mention Pheasant Run cheated? Wow, sorry.

It's just like baseball. Parents ruin everything. They get into fisticuffs with other parents. They take over kids sports with their scheming and conniving and let's try this fancy play in which we fake it to the third baseman, and then the first baseman acts like he has the ball but doesn't, in an attempt to draw the runner and catch him off base. I frigging HATE that. It's not baseball by subterfuge. It's not baseball by illusion. It's just baseball. You pitch it, you hit it, you field it, you run the bases, you're out, you score a run. That's it. That's all it should be.

But these coaches huddle around with their trick plays, in effect making kids on the other team feel foolish and, well, tricked...what does that prove to their own team? That the game can't be won unless you humiliate the other team. Football has a couple of tricky plays, but everyone knows them. In baseball, these guys have secret meetings, devising these schemes, spending hours training their kids how to run them. And yeah, they often work. But at what cost? So these ego-driven, doughy middle age guys playing baseball vicariously through their own children get to play a little one-upsmanship against a bunch of 10-year-olds?

That's it, that's the driving force in kids' sports these days: coaches want bigger dicks.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

powerpoint sucks

I'm in the middle of creating this massive, Powerpoint-crashing presentation for the swim team banquet. I'll return when it's done. That is, if I can get it to run without frigging CRASHING. Friggin' Power-frigging-crashing-point.