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Showing posts from January, 2009

Of Pine Needles and other infinite things

So I cleaned this weekend--really, really cleaned instead of just straightening and part of cleaning required vacuuming and dustbustingpine needles as well as dust bunnies. Now, the dust bunnies are self-replicating, of course, and will come back, but as far as I know, pine needles are not and yet, no matter how carefully I clean at some point in say, July, I shall pull out a book that was nowhere near the Christmas Tree and scatter a few sad pine needles on the floor.

While decorating for Christmas a sad piece of tinsel ended up on the floor.

We've never put tinsel on our tree.

So, despite having moved my husband's families ornaments into different boxes over the years, this remnant of his childhood had clung on waiting to fall in this apartment.

On our second Christmas together I gave my husband tree shaped confetti in his card. Periodically a tiny tree will appear in the bottom of a drawer. 18 years old and opened in another person's house, with two moves in between.

You Know What I Hate?

Mr. Smith: I move my finger one inch to use my turn signal. Why are these a$$holes so lazy they can't move their finger one f#@!ing measly inch to drive more safely? You wanna know why? DQ: Not particularly. Mr. Smith: Because these rich bastards have to be callous and inconsiderate in the first place to make all that money, so when they get on the road, they can't help themselves. They've gotta be callous and inconsiderate drivers too. It's in their nature.
--Shoot 'Em Up

Why, oh, why does no one use their turn signal? It helps them as much as us--lets us know what you are doing so we can accommodate it. Of course, it is seen as a sign of weakness in Boston--and people will take advantage of the fact that you are signalling your intentions to thwart you.

Why I Voted for Barack Obama

This essay was originally going to be called “Why I’m Voting for Barack Obama” and I was going to post it a few days before the election. But then I got superstitious and decided not to jinx him and I wanted to finish reading Dreams From My Father—which I did, on election eve.

And then, once he’d won, I wanted to read The Audacity of Hope before I finished it, and so things I wanted to say played in and out of my mind for the next two months. Hopefully I’ll get to the point I’m trying to make before he takes office tomorrow. This is what I wrote a few months ago. I thought I would change it, but I still like it even if I’ve added more:


Do I think he’s the absolute best candidate for president ever? No.
I’m not sure what that person would look like.
But I think he is certainly the best running now.

A friend asked me recently if I liked him. Yes, I like him. I like him more and more as we approach the election. I like his calm, his grasp of rhetoric, his intelligence after eight years of a m…

Oh, damn it!

Now Sir John Mortimer, creator of Rumpole of the Bailey and author of one of the best little books of essays I've ever read. I realize that all of these men were over 80 (Wyeth over 90), but really

And now for something completely different--and funny (if you like Japanese)

So, I'm talking to my Japanese friend about Patrick McGoohan's death because her husband, like my husband, is a big Prisoner fan, and I mention that PM was in some of the Colombo films of the 70's and she says she loved those. So, I'm trying to imagine Peter Falk speaking in Japanese. And we talk about more shows that crossed the ocean and she tells me that she saw Mr. Ed as a child--subbed in Japanese.

And I say: Ed-u San?
And then I think about the show for a moment and say: Actually it should have been Ed-u Sensai or at least Ed-u Sempai.

Of all the shows to take over...I wonder how close the translations were--HA!

Crusoe and the A-B problem

They've brought back Crusoe and stuck it on Saturday nights--a sure way to kill anything.

I like Crusoe, but it's always going to be limited by the A-B problem. Crusoe can never get off of the island, no matter what happens. Something must always thwart it at the last minute. Unfortunately that renders it a more literate Gilligan's Island.

What good are visions you cannot use?

I often dream of fashions I cannot sew. Last night I dreamt of jewelry and art I cannot make. I lack even the ability to draw them as accurately as I would like so that someone else can make them. I can hear music in my head that I cannot transcribe.

Should I take classes to try and learn the skills I would need to bring these to reality? And what would I do with them then? What do I do with the things that I sew and create now?

I also dream of stories that I should write and that I can do, but then I grow afraid--thinking of what will I do with it when it's done, when I should just think of getting it down and seeing what it is.

Does this happen to other people?

Dentists and the service industry.

So now I have to get a crown (which I didn't realize was almost always necessary after a root canal--especially in a molar) and I have to decide whether I should go to my regular dentist or to my new dentist. This is my post on trying to figure out the pros and cons of either and it brings up an interesting point that relates to my job.

Part of what my company does is coach financial planners on how to get and retain high net worth clients (or any clients, for that matter), and we've had some speakers talk about presentation of office etc.

My old dentist, let us call him A, has a beautiful private office in the first floor of what was once a house outside of Davis Square in Somerville. This used to be relatively easy to access from my old address, but is somewhat harder now (it is where I learned to ride a bike). The waiting room has a TV, and a large array of magazines and some lovely art (because the dentist owns a share in an art gallery on Newbury St.). There are several…

Unusual Teeth

Wouldn't that be a great name for a band?

So, I had my first Root Canal on Friday afternoon. At first I wondered what all the fuss was about--nothing worse than a regular filling, but then as it went on and on, and with the ongoing tenderness in my jaw, I'm understanding (although it seems to be receding) why it has such a bad reputation. I wish I had looked up exactly what was involved before I did it, but perhaps it was better that I not know.

Strangely, I feel a certain shame that I needed a root canal at my age. As if I do not take good care of my teeth. As one might feel shame that one had lice or bed bugs. I had gotten a filling in late summer and afterwards experienced much tenderness which I attributed to a bad bite form and the dentist kept filing away but finally around Thanksgiving I was having pain and he removed the first filling, added different seal that was supposed to relieve sensitivity but warned me that if I had pain again I would need a root canal. S…

The ability of humans to inflict pain.

Last week's Law and Order broke my heart. I couldn't stop crying. I put it in my Twitter feed. It was about adoptees which is a hard place for me to begin with and then--I had heard of people adopting children to get servants, but the self congratulation of these "parents" as though they were doing a "good" thing and the place where it led took me apart. Ruth Rendell wrote a novel about the problem in Britain called Simisola and that one shook me too. Rather like the Elizabeth George novel "What Came Before He Shot Her." All we get is the result--child becomes murderer. Not the terrible whys that could take a sweet child there.


How is it that we are so ready to inflict pain both mental and physical on other humans? That we spend so much time and energy planning it--we as a race--through out recorded time. We caught a show the other night on torture devices of the middle ages--and I thought, as I've often thought, who thought of those devices. W…

Coen Brothers Films

Had sort of a Coen Brothers fest lately--probably because the stations have been running so many of them because of the DVD release of Burn After Reading.

Just watched it. It was funny, but I have to agree with the critics that this was not their best. Some of the expressions from Clooney and Pitt are priceless--that play upon the meta-of Clooney and Pitt being somewhat unattractive, schlubs--and the final coming together of the stories delightful.

My favorites remain "O, Brother" and "Barton Fink." I have not seen "The Ladykillers" because the original is so priceless and perfect with Alec Guinness that I kind of think a remake is a travesty. I absolutely do not get "The Big Lebowski" and quite frankly, having recently seen "No Country," I didn't get that either. I did miss the first 15 minutes or so of that and so perhaps my perception is skewed. I thought it okay, but I found none of the special qualities that make a Coen Br…

Shoes at Bush Part II

I have mailed my shoes to Bush--Priority so it will get there in time, although, whether they will ever reach the president or if he will even be notified of their arrival (and I am sure many others) is very much in doubt. I went with the Shakespeare.

And lest anyone think that I am completely un-American, I also mailed our two old cell phones (2 generations old) to Cell Phones for Soldiers.

Adapting a book--The Prestige

I was completely blown away by the movie of The Prestige, and I thought then about reading the novel, but it seemed too soon. So I carried the author's name around with me for over a year (Christopher Priest) and then, finally remembered to buy it through an odd sequence of events. We watched The Painted Veil based on the novel by Maugham starring Edward Norton, and while I decided I didn't want to read The Painted Veil because of it's differences from the film (which was more romantic and tragic) it reminded me that I had wanted to read Fight Club (the movie version of which starred Edward Norton) and that reminded me that I had wanted to read The Prestige (which did not star Edward Norton, but was up against The Illusionist which did). Whew...so it's all Edward Norton's fault.

The Prestige is a very good novel, and yet, the movie differs from it considerably. And I am still trying to figure out what exactly that means. The central premise is the same, AND HER…