Tuesday, November 9, 2010


This past Halloween, my grandson, who is 3, dressed as a fireman. I made the coat and bag for him, out of red and black “pleather” and he already had some boots and a hat from the local Firehouse Subs store. As I worked on the coat in the weeks leading up to Halloween, he was very interested – “Are you making my fireman coat, G-ma? Is it done, G-ma?” And the few times I quickly tried it on him, to make sure the overall length was right or the sleeve length was right or that it wouldn’t completely swallow him up, I tried to also make sure he was distracted enough that he didn’t try to keep it. It all worked out and he was completely adorable, as you can see in this photo. The day after Halloween, he put the coat back on to play catch in the living room.

I can’t begin to say how incredible life is with him in it. When he comes barreling into the room, the whole world lights up. He’s so delighted in everything, so curious, so serious at times and so full of joy at other times. I know what parents and grandparents mean when they say they wish that the NOW could be preserved, that he or she might never grow up beyond this moment. But of course that can’t be.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Liberal Media

This whole Juan Williams thing is crazy. I hate politics; I hate political discourse. I am wired to be pretty much a bleeding heart liberal and I vote Democrat and I just don’t want to hear political discussion of any kind. No one’s going to change anyone’s mind. I do believe Juan overstepped in his remarks on national television. He violated the NPR policy which is that one does not say in another forum that which would not be allowed over the NPR airwaves. So, firing him was the right thing to do. I hope NPR does not reverse itself. What I’m thinking is that any journalist who expresses his or her opinion is not presenting news – he or she is expressing an opinion. I haven’t watched much Fox News – OK, I admit it, I’ve pretty much watched NO Fox News – but my impression is that it is a network of opinion expressers. I have a natural liberal bias, so maybe I hear NPR news (not the opinions that are clearly framed as opinions or analysis or whatever) as unbiased where it wouldn’t sound that way to someone more conservative than I.

As for the media in general, shame on them all. I feel strongly that we (silly, gullible Americans that we can often be) are allowing ourselves to be whipped into frenzy by news outlets that want to sell more advertising. If it bleeds, it leads – so let’s cut a bunch of stuff up.

I’m the first to admit that I am going completely on gut here, not on any factual research. Just sayin’.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Music punctuating the ends of TV episodes

I am a sucker for this stuff. Someone (many someones) has the job of picking just the right song to play over the (now clich├ęd?) montage of images that tend to close TV episodes these days. I personally love it, so don’t get me wrong. I have discovered artists I would never have known otherwise, in this way. I distinctly remember an episode of Nip/Tuck (yes, I used to watch it) where a haunting melody and lyric underscored whatever was happening onscreen; turned out to be “Natasha” by Rufus Wainwright. Now, many people would say “You were clueless about Rufus Wainwright?” and yes, I guess I was. I knew of him, knew that he is the progeny of Loudon and one of the McGarrigle sisters, knew he was the topic of the song “Rufus is a Tit Man” but never had heard him perform. Now I am a big fan.

I am so grateful for Googling – the way to find the titles and artists for these songs that haunt me, among other things of course! The latest one to send me to the computer and web is from a recent episode of Stargate Universe; I’ve now downloaded “Sort of Revolution” by Fink. Fink? Who knew?! What else was I intrigued by recently? A band called Mumford & Sons has a “hit” with a song called “Little Lion Man,” which doesn’t do a lot for me, but “Sigh No More” was played at the end of a show I can’t even remember now – wait, also Stargate Universe! Who knew that Stargate Universe would be so cool with songs??

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Art of Friendship

Making friends has always been easy for me. Keeping friends, though, takes a good amount of effort. I think of myself as someone who offers my friendship easily and freely, but I fear there are strings attached. I don’t know how to do the unconditional very well, I guess. Even with my grandson, who at this writing is three and utterly adorable, evokes resentment in me if he runs to grandpa first or asks me where grandpa is or refuses to give me a hug or kiss. He’s only three, for heaven’s sake, but still. I don’t think I’m unusual in my foibles of friendship, but while I am quick to see the fault in someone else’s actions, I am slow to realize that I am similarly guilty. What is the saying about holding up the mirror to oneself to see that which something or other? Sigh. But, I think when friends are annoyed with one another, or disappointed, true friendship means that this should be discussed and resolved. We humans are hard pressed to hear criticism very easily or to take the first step in resolution, but I guess we can determine who our friends really are by well we can offer – and accept – being called on some action or inaction. Or how easily we can step up to the plate to begin the dialogue. Acquaintances are another story, and we all have plenty of those. Acquaintances are easier and maybe in that very way less dear.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Texas Trip - San Antonio

Jim and I recently took a trip to TX, primarily to see my stepmom (Corpus Christi) and my sister (San Antonio), but also to see the TX hill country on our own for a couple of days. We spent the first weekend of our trip in SA with Carol and her family, which is made up of my niece Erin and my nephew David. Erin lives with her boyfriend, Anthony, and they share an apartment with their friend Ryan. After dinner at La Hacienda de los Barrios on Saturday night, Erin and Ant (as they call him) invited us all over to grill and play games on Sunday. Here is the fam on the patio, graciously posing for the photographer. As you might be able to tell, Ryan and Ant have matching grill aprons. Not only are they each monogrammed, but they have a slot for your beer can, for hands-free grilling.
The game we played was Apples to Apples, which was wonderful fun. Ryan bragged that he always won, but he got off to a slow start, with yours truly taking a whopping lead. But he overtook me and ended up the winner. I always thought that bragging sort of ensured that one wouldn't win. Dang!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Gone Away World

Just started “Gone Away World” by Nick Harkaway. Our friend David Anderson recommended it, but I don’t remember specifically what he’d said about it, if anything. It’s just my opinion that David’s reading taste would be “high brow,” but Jim expressed interest in reading the book, so I ordered it through the local library. It’s pretty lengthy and Jim took two of the three allowed borrowing periods to read it. He enjoyed it a lot. Now, my turn. I just started it last night; am probably on page 10 at most. It’s dense writing, great snarky attitude of narrator, will no doubt be slow going for me. Lots of re-reading of passages after I go “Wait, what??” no doubt. With only one borrowing period left, to expire on 10/26, I think, I’m trying to figure out next step (I love to think ahead) – my first attempt will be to go to the library on expiration day and ask if I can just renew it. Otherwise, I will have to turn it in and it will be returned to the library whence it came; then I will put it on my hold list again and it will have to be shipped to my library again. Of course, it could come from an entirely different library. I’m sure the copy I have in hand is not the only copy in the PINES library system. Wish me luck! (BTW, problem solved - just ordered the paperback from Amazon!)

Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Just finished reading “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” Quite a frustrating book. For the first 200+ pages, I kept wondering what everyone was raving about. I remember seeing a woman on a plane with the book; as I walked down the aisle to my seat, I asked her “Does this get any better?” and she replied that it was really good, that I shouldn’t give up. So after taking many breaks during the first almost 300 pages of the book to read other books, I took GWDT with me on a recent trip and finally got why it was so compelling. I finished it just last night. Ending up enjoying it doesn’t change my mind about the first almost-half of the book. Why do (sorry to be making a generalization here) European writers spend so much time on what appears to be unnecessary exposition. Maybe to justify what Blomvquist and Salander end up doing to Wennerstrom, but still. Maybe with all that out of the way, books 2 and 3 can get right into the crimes/mysteries. I shall continue with the series!