Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Six Flags: the final weekend

In an effort to wring the last morsels of value from of our season passes, I dragged Jen and the boys to Six Flags for its final weekend of the 2013 season.

Jen came willingly because it was my birthday weekend. Samuel was willing even though he had a lot of homework to do. Ethan would've preferred to stay home and play on the computer, like any normal person in fall weather would do.

Six Flags in October is a little bit like me in October: a sad shell of its summertime self. It tries to perpetuate the myth of fun outdoor activity by putting up cobweb decorations and red food coloring in the fountain and referring to it as "Fright Fest." But, really, it was just a cold amusement park. And it made me sad to walk by the closed log flume ride, completely drained of water.

But, like me, Six Flags will do whatever it takes to wring the last bit of August out of October.

And we got our money's worth, by God.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

California trip

Just got back from a 3-day trip to LA.

I sat next to a 3-year-old boy on the plane, which normally would be a good thing, except that he kept farting for the entire 6-hour flight.

My first stop--about fifteen minutes after I landed--was Randy's Donuts. I needed to purge my olfactory senses of toddler farts and get things back on a positive note.

I stayed at a restored, Art Deco hotel overlooking the ocean. Restored, Art Deco, and Ocean are three of my favorite words.

Here are the things I loved about it:

1. The entrance.

2. The view on the way to my room.

3. The silk drapes.

4. The ocean view through 75-year-old windows.

5. Art Deco wood flooring and baseboards.

6. Funky crown molding.

7. Polished nickel bathroom fixtures.

8. The fact that it was right across from the beach, so I could go for a run before sunset.

9. The open bathroom, so I could take a shower after my run while watching the sunset.

10. The sunset, which made me feel like I was part of an Eagles album cover.

11. The fact that no one could see me naked--unless they had a really good pair of binoculars.

Okay, okay, enough about the damn hotel.

I got to see a hockey game with my sister's family.

Bonus: I got to see my niece Addie do a silly dance.

I picked up 7 donuts on my way back to the airport for the flight home, 5 of which made it to NYC. No farting toddlers on the redeye.

Happy to be home again...but it was a good trip.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

"I can't wait 'til I'm 21."

"I'm going to live at home with you and Mom and not have a job and go clubbing every night."

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The prologue of the new Jim Henson biography...

...describes the taping of this scene from "Sesame Street" in 1973.

"Joey--in a pink striped shirt with her long blond hair tied at the top of her head--was moved into position on a stool while Jim knelt on the floor next to her. Slowly he raised Kermit up beside her, eyeing the Muppet's position on a video monitor in front of his crouched knees. Joey's eyes locked immediately on Kermit. The frog was no mere puppet; Kermit was real."

When Joey deviated from the script by giggling "Cookie Monster" several times during the song, "all eyes in the studio were on the frog, waiting to see what Jim would do."

He just rolled with it, getting through the song, then having Kermit skulk away in exasperation.

"Joey stared after him. 'I love you,' she said, matter-of-factly.

"Jim bounced Kermit eagerly back toward the little girl. 'I love you too,' he said warmly.

"'Thanks,' said Joey. And she draped an arm around Kermit and kissed him on the head."

Looking forward to the rest of the book.

Monday, October 14, 2013

What I did this weekend instead of working on my manuscript

1. Attended a birthday party for Ethan's friend Zoe at Uno Chicago Grill.

2. Installed vintage "Edison" lightbulbs in the fixtures over our bathroom mirrors.


According to a home decorating website, the Edison lightbulb fad ended a couple of years ago. But we still have a white refrigerator from 1998, so being within two years of a fad is actually very good for us.

3. Got an old electric clock in the mail that I ordered from eBay last week, removed the non-working guts, and replaced it with a battery. It took way too long to get it to work right, and I'm afraid to go look at it right now to see if it's still keeping time. But...knock wood.

4. Installed new window blinds in the boys' room.

Their main window has been devoid of a curtain or blinds for almost a year while strangers peeked in at them playing Minecraft in their underwear at 2am. In fact, the blinds have been sitting on the radiator all that time--I've just been too lazy to actually install them. Thank God for manuscripts to give me something else to procrastinate about.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Note to Rolling Stone: don't hire Ethan as your music historian

I just sang two Elvis and Johnny Cash karaoke songs to Ethan while he was getting ready for bed.

He said, "Great, now I'll have '80s music stuck in my head tomorrow."