Archive for December, 2004

happy new year

I dreamed that I was trying to help Gayu and Kamala search for their neighbors in Chennai.

Medecins sans frontieres

Here are the five books that I am switching restlessly between:

Gladstone, A Biography
The Intellectual Life of the British Working Class
Night and Horses and the Desert
What’s Going On In There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life

all right, she can stay

Christmas Eve. We’re all curled up in bed, sleeping late. Claire turns to me and says: “Peepee-you -” (this is her word for any small bird that makes a peeping noise) “peepee-you is a baby chicken.”

Later I say: “I’m feeling lazy Miss Claire. Would you get up and make us some tea?”

She pads off into the living room and comes back chanting “Hot tea, hot tea.” She’s found the mugs with the dregs from the night before, and brings them to us one at a time. Hardly spills a drop.

at the bus stop

R: Save me. There’s a clown.

J: Scary.

R: Would you take a joke for me, if you had to? Do you love me that much?

Later, on the bus.

J: I heard her say she’s going to a meeting. Maybe it’s the clown’s union.

R: No one will take them seriously dressed like that.

J: “Who are these clowns?”

R: “Get this clown out of my office!”

J: “And take your pie!”

R: “No, leave the pie.”

Together: “Mmm, pie.”

he is unreasonable

We walk out of Sideways together.

R, triumphant: And that’s why you let ME pick the movie!

J: What? I picked it.

R: You’d never even heard of it till I mentioned it this morning!

J, smug: It’s the movie I would have picked, if I’d known it existed.

she reasons

Claire (thoughtfully inspecting one of those seed pods from a liquid amber tree): Star? Ball? (Looking up at us with joy) Starball!

this is why he needs his own blog

1. The Force is strong in this one

J: It’s depressing when you think you’ve thought up a new joke, and you Google it, and thousands of other people got there first.

R: Tell me your joke.

J: Well the new Knights of The Old Republic game is out. And the first one was always called KOTOR, so I thought it would be fun to review it and call the review “Welcome back, KOTOR.”

2. Happy Days

New phone: BRRING!

R: Hello?

J: So do you think if the writers of Arrested Development decide to have the show jump the shark, they’ll put Henry Winkler on waterskis again?

birthday boy

The phone rings.

R: Hello?

J: Hello!

R: Okay, so it turns out I didn’t have to worry about that Earthsea thing on Scifi being unfaithful to the books after all.

J: No?

R: No. ‘Cause apparently they’re based on a completely different set of Earthsea books, by some other writer called Ursula K. Le Guin.

J: Ah. Not good then?

R: I. Have. Not. The. Words. Well, no, I do: so Ged is Bobby Drake from the X-Men movies, and he’s running around being all, like, California surfer dude, totally. And Danny Glover looks pretty good as Ogion the Silent, but he just WILL not shut up. Which is not, y’know, really in the spirit of that character. And God, the script is so awful, with all the beauty and weirdness and darkness excised, like they found-and-replaced all the good stuff with the nearest roughly equivalent cliche… Let me put it this way. We’ve already had someone yelling “Ged! NOOO!”

J: Err. So everyone knows his secret name?

R: Ah. Well. Ged is his public name in this one, and Sparrowhawk is his secret name. So it’s completely backwards and lame. Oh, Jeremy, I feel so sorry for some of the people involved, because they’ve done quite a nice job with the cinematography and the whole ripping off Weta’s art direction and costume design thing, but my Christ it’s a cynical cash-in. I bet I know how they sold it to the network: The Legendary Adventures of the Fellowship of Harry Potter the Vampire Slayer, Warrior Princess!

J: Did Tolkien write that?

R: I think it was CS Lewis. Hurry home now.

J: Love you. (click)

The phone rings again.

R: Hello?

J: So you’re saying it’s The Tie-in, the Pitch and the Wardrobe?

R: Guess who’s getting blogged on his birthday?

J: Yay me!

paninaro, o way o

I tried it myself this morning:

Platanos con crema
Bernal Heights
Glenn Gould
Yo Yo Ma
Jane Austen
Patrick O’Brian
The Enlightenment
The separation of church and state
The emancipation of women
Clean water, health care and education for all

stand-up toddlers

Late last night, cleaning up after Jeremy’s KICK ASS AWESOME birthday party. (Thank you everybody! He got MONDO DE cool presents, including a a talking Laa Laa and a backpack in the shape of a frog. Claire got a book on UI design. Or vice versa.) We’re all a bit drunk and the kids are in a heap on the floor cushions. (Or vice versa.)

D: There should be stand-up toddler comedians. Imagine it. It’s brilliant. “So, parents, what’s with them, huh?”

R: “Have you ever thought about poop? I mean, really? Who came up with that?”

Q: But what if someone heckled? I could always get heckled off the stage.

R: Just disarm them with something positive. Like, “Puppies!”

D: Yeah! “So who here likes puppies?”

In related toddle-tainment news, Claire has been writing songs that resemble the Pet Shop Boys’ Paninaro – ie, they are lists of nice things, set to a catchy tune. She’s singing one now, as Jeremy rocks her to sleep:

Brum! Brum!
Dinda (woof!)
Bebe (meow!)
Apple juice
The books!
The books!

utterly pointless and strange

Last night I dreamed that my teeth fell out, and I wept and tried to gather them up, and said “I’ve dreamed about this but I never thought it would really happen.” What makes this especially poignant is that (1) my grandma had all her teeth pulled when she was 20, and lived another 76 years with dentures; and (2) I have a dental appointment this afternoon.

I also dreamed that I worked as an embalmer in a funeral home by a lagoon in the bush near Killara, in Sydney. I swam in the lagoon and met Brad deLong; we trod water and discussed macroeconomics. David Boies swam by. Brad and I found towels and walked across the car park to find a cup of coffee. About halfway across the parking lot was a brown and fetid little spring. “It’s all that’s left of the Aral sea,” said Brad.

when they talk about bouncing babies, i’m not sure this is what they mean

R: How’s the graze on Claire’s hand?

J: Better.

R: Every time you take her out, she comes back with a bump or scratch.

J: She’s a toddler.

R: True.

J: If they were graceful at this age, they’d be prancelers.


Claire has discovered grammar, including the past tense (so that “Dada! Dada Mama dada zapatos dada Claire” means “Hey Dad! Mum and I went to Rockridge Kids and bought these cool new shoes!”) and the subjunctive (“Dada Mama dada brum! brum! dada woof!” -> “Mum, let’s drive to Salome’s to see Belinda!”)

Still no verbs or conjunctions, leaving “Dada” (and sometimes “Dadada”) to take the place of everything that isn’t a noun. Still, it’s better than the days when “Dada” just meant everything good, and “Mama” meant “DISAPPOINTED!”