Friday, August 31, 2007

a new school year

Our son has started 8th grade. 8th GRADE!!! Holy crap, batman, how did that happen? In the last few months he has grown 4 inches. His voice has changed, settling into a fairly deep range we hadn't expected. He could use a shave. He is more confident and more mature. He has a life I have no part of, where I used to know everything.

Recently a friend called him, and I asked him afterwards what she wanted. He looked at me, and said "why do you need to know?" I thought about it, and told him I didn't. It's just a hard habit to break. I'm just not used to not being involved in all his life. I am trying to give him more space, more privacy, more responsibility, but I keep stumbling back into old ways.

It's neat though, to watch the adult start to emerge. When he was little, I could never picture him grown up, and now I can. He can be fun to talk to now, and he makes some interesting points. He has a pretty wicked sense of humor. He is still awfully uncomfortable talking with grownups he doesn't know, or doesn't know well, but he has become very relaxed around other teens. He is a smart-ass, and I worry where this will lead. Of course, he comes by that honestly, although I swear I curb all of that in front of him. Must be genetic.

He has a good heart, and I think he will be a nice man when he grows up.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

places I've been

I don't know why I started this list, but here it is.

The places I've been, outside of my home state:

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Virginia, DC, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Colorado, California, Mexico, Nova Scotia, Belize, Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland.

I have also set foot in Iceland and England, although I never left the airports.

Where I still want to go:

Spain, Portugal, Canada, all the rest of the US including Alaska and Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, Greece, Madagascar, Costa Rica, the Galapagos, Peru, Ireland, England and Iceland, St John, St Lucia, the Bahamas, Japan, China. Pretty much everywhere I haven't been, I think.

And then I want to revisit all my favorites.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Gonzalez resigned yesterday. Was I the only one who heard a chorus of "ding-dong, the witch is dead" in their heads when they heard the news?? Most of the Texas mafia has gone back to the ranch, so to speak. Other than Cheney, Bush has none of his original gang with him. Now if Cheney would just get arrested for something, say soliciting in the men's room.... that would be the cherry on the sundae for me. Oh yeah, while I'm dreaming, how about Bush getting impeached?

So back to reality. We have a mayoral primary in two weeks. I don't really really like anybody running. I'll still vote, though, and pick the lesser of evils, whoever that turns out to be. As to the BIG ELECTION, hmmmm. I heard Obama on the Daily Show, and I have to say I like the guy more every time I hear him speak. My head still says Hilary is the better choice, if it comes down to the two of them -- I just don't like her much. Doesn't mean she'd be a bad president, though. I revere Jimmy Carter, and look how well that turned out. The only thing I know for sure at this point, is that I will vote for a Democrat in the general election, and whoever the Dems put forth will have to be okay with me.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

we have returned!

Paris was wonderful. A welcome respite, a beautiful city, lovely people, magnificent art and architecture, good food.

I have an enormous quantity of pix up at ofoto

Among my discoveries this last week:

despite 25 years of marriage, I still like hanging out with my husband
the French are nice people
Graffiti is everywhere
American CRAP is everywhere (mcdonald's, daddy day care movies, the GAP, footlocker)
City gardens can be beautiful, and beautifully maintained, if the city cares enough
a metro train in Paris and a metro train in Washington DC are virtually indistinguishable
You can have too much good food
Japanese tourists are horrible in groups
a ham and cheese sandwich tastes better when it is a baguette avec jambon et emmenthal
restaurants in Paris do not have no-smoking sections, or no smoking
You can eat like a pig, ingest horribly fatty foods and be reed thin, if you are a parisian woman
hot tea is a civilized custom, available at fine eating establishments everywhere
hot chocolate can be magnifique
you never get tired of good croissants, no matter how many you eat
art transcends
you can walk too much
Rodin was a genius, ditto Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Leonardo, Vermeer
flying still sucks
Iceland looks like a cool place to visit
my child actually likes me and misses me when I am gone
ditto the dog

It was great to go, and it is good to be home.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Go see it. More than once. Then buy it when it comes out on video. No, Neil Gaiman is not paying me to say this.

I LOVED this movie. LOVED IT. I definitely am going to buy it, and when we get back from Paris, if it is still playing in theaters, I will go see it again.

It kept all the flavor of the book, all the heart and soul of the thing. That rarely happens when a favorite book leaps to the big screen. If you don't believe me, wait until you see the trailers for the Dark is Rising. They butchered the book, and they won't get a dime from me.

But Stardust is what a movie can be, if everyone respects where it came from.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

in a dither

I am in a dither today. We are leaving for Paris in 6 days. Now I absolutely LOVE travelling, but I HATE the travel part. I loathe flying. I am terrified the whole time I am in the air. I HATE packing, particulary when I have to limit what I take. My husband and I squabble -- something we almost never do.

Unfortunately, I can't get to all the places I want to go, unless I pack, get on an f--ing plane and fly. I want the transporter created now. I want to step on a lighted disk on the floor, have someone say 'engage' and be halfway across the planet. Then I would get two more days in Paris, because I would eliminate the travel time.

Why do shoes take up so much room? really, how can I go with one pair of shoes? I need sneakers for walking, but can't really wear them everywhere, or with everything. And they have different electric there? or at least different connectors... how much cash should I take? what about pickpockets?

dither, dither, dither.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

summer movies

It's official. I have seen more movies in the last few months than I saw in my first 18 years of life. SpiderMan 3, Pirates of the Caribbean 3, Fantastic Four, Ghostrider, Live Free or Die Hard, The Simpsons Movie, Harry Potter... and more to come: Stardust, Golden Compass, Bourne Ultimatum.

As a child, we didn't go to the movies much. Once or twice for some kid's birthday, once when my father snuck out with a friend and took the little ones to see Goldfinger, and as a teen I saw Star Wars, Silent Movie and Young Frankenstein and Moonraker... not a ton of movies in total.

Now, I can walk to a wonderful old single-screen theater. We go as often as we can. And we can drive to a horrible multiplex that nevertheless gets all the big movies. We go to an anime convention, and get our anime fix in that way. And we rent from the Blockbuster a mile up the road.

All three of us love movies, so it's good quality family time. And we can now discuss what we see together, which has been a lot of fun. Of course, being who we are, there is also food involved. We typically do dinner and a movie, or movie snacks and a movie (popcorn, sourpatches for the kid, raisinets for me...), so it makes for a fun evening. We still struggle to find things we all want to see, or that we all CAN see. We still veto R movies for our son, although I think now it's less because we think he can't handle the content, and more that WE can't handle him handling the content... but for now, we almost always say NO to the R-rated flicks.

He vetoes the G rated films, or anything he thinks is too childish or babyish. So I didn't get to see Transformers, because he thought it was for little kids. No amount of persuasion made a difference. Little kids watch the cartoon, and play with the toys, so NO WAY was he GOING TO BE CAUGHT DEAD going to see it. Yes, we can go without him. But we are doing lots of things without him already, and I really don't want us to spend more time apart if I can help it. Not while he still is okay with hanging out with us on occasion. And I didn't get to see the most recent Ninja Turtles movie, although apparently no one else saw it either. And I didn't get to see Happy Feet. Or anything with animated penguins.

But still, I am HAPPY. I got to see lots of fun fun stuff, and there is more where that came from. MOVIES!!!!