Thursday, May 31, 2007

Books - May 2007

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
James Michener called this book the "shortest long novel I have ever read." At over 1,000 pages it's a time commitment, but worthwhile for dense story and a heap of information about the American south during and after the Civil war. I don't need to tell you that it's even better than the movie.

Tuscany and Umbria Rough Guide

Italy Lonely Planet Guidebook

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Take this

More evidence that I am a pop-culture market unto myself:

This is a Take That* video. I love this song (it's no use making fun of me, if you read my blog you know I'm also addicted to Billy Squier), and I can't figure out a way to legally download it because I have American iTunes and it hasn't been released in America. iTunes, this makes no sense. The Internet doesn't know the difference among the USA, Germany, and Britain, so why do you?

*Americans, Take That sang that ballad in the 90's "Back for Good" ('Whatever I said, whatever I did, I didn't mean it...I just want you back for goo-oo-ood...(want you back, want you back for goo-ood)'). European audiences don't need an explanation because over here Take That were almost as big as the Beatles. And Robbie Williams spun off, and there was a big scandal, and now Robbie is the new rebel John Lennon, and Take That have reunited without him. Americans, don't ask me to explain Robbie Williams to you. He's kind of like the male Kylie Minogue.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Gummy Bare

I didn't think much of it when I scheduled Theo's first round of vaccinations and my dentist appointment on the same day. I figured it was still during Jeff's parental leave period so we could both go to the appointment, and then he could watch Theo while I sat in the dentist's chair. Organized, that's me!

Friday dawned another 85+ degree day, an event you probably assume is welcome, but actually means that I was in for a day of sitting around in my nursing tank and athletic shorts, no shoes or socks, while Theo sweated through his Onesie. I'll say it again. We love our apartment and the windows and the top floor view; we hate the stairs and the infernal heat that just. does. not. go. away.

I did manage to locate some shoes before we headed to the pediatrician's office. Theo was a champ during his appointment; some tears but overall not a lot of drama. He acted normal all afternoon, and I left him with Jeff as I headed for the dentist's office.

I had my teeth cleaned last year so I should have recalled that the hygienist doesn't exactly have a gentle touch. In fact, the hourlong ordeal was practically a bloodbath. She recommended that I return in six months instead of waiting a year next time. Maybe I'll start flossing. And remember to check in the mirror before I leave the office, since my cheeks were covered with bits of (don't worry, not my gums) blue tooth polish. Covered, I tell you.

By the time I got home, our house was over ninety degrees, Theo had a mild fever and was whimpering, and I gasped every time I inhaled because I swear the roots of my teeth were exposed. No one got much sleep on Friday night.

But! It started raining yesterday and hasn't stopped since. And Theo's fever went down, and I can eat solid foods again, and Jeff doesn't have to go back to work until Monday. It's the small things that make me happy.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Sunrise, Sunset

Thanks to a care package from my merry blogmutter (fairy godblogger? hairy blogsistah?), Jeff and I watched two episodes of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip last night. Leave it to me to finally get around to watching a show only after it's been officially canceled.

It took almost two years, but I've crossed the pop culture expatriate line, where I am clueless about much of American television and have never heard of most U.S. movies in current release. So what follows is written in a kind of TV vacuum, having very little with which to compare Studio 60. And most of you probably don't care, since you either never watched it or you removed it from your TiVo long ago, or you watched it but now it's canceled so Blythe, get over it already.

But I loved it. I'm an Aaron Sorkin Junkie; I own several seasons of The West Wing on DVD. I could easily watch the entire series of Sports Night in one sitting. When an episode of these shows ends, Jeff and I look at each other and say, "Oh, just one more." And pretty soon it's 2 a.m. and we've watched half the season.

What I thought:
-It's a transparently autobiographical story. Sorkin and his buddy, director Tommy Schlamme, got kicked out of The West Wing and feel they've been wronged by the network. Now they're back at the same network and they're throwing it back in the execs' faces. I can see how this might eventually become wearing. But so far I can take it.

-Also, lots of references to past Sorkin shows and obsessions, including Gilbert & Sullivan, the section title and end credits (same as The West Wing), and of course several of the actors.

-Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford play variations on Chandler Bing and Josh Lyman so that wasn't hard to take, but it took a while for me to get used to Timothy Busfield as mild-mannered technical director Cal after seeing him for so many years as direct and snappy Danny Concannon on The West Wing.

-I hear her character goes downhill, but the idea of a well-known, devout Christian on a show like this (or especially on a late-night comedy show) is interesting. It's high time someone writes a smart role for a character like Harriet.

-Judd Hirsch! His appearance reminded me of how I felt when I saw Robert Guillaume on Sports Night. Loved it.

-I've never been a fan of Amanda Peet, but she did a good job and looked beautiful, different than I'd seen her look before. Someone please send her wardrobe to me.

We're looking forward to watching the rest of the series. Knowing us, we'll probably finish it this weekend.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Grazie Mille

I highly recommend taking your infant on vacation.

No, really. I suppose I didn't have to live through a transAtlantic plane ride, but we did spend about ten hours in the car one day. And still. It was worth it. Because we went to Italy. And where else would every woman we met who was over 40 years old and not wearing Gucci sunglasses tell us that our baby was going to save the world with his cuteness? Or something like that. I don't speak Italian.

Our trip through Austria, Venice, and Tuscany was delightful, and I'm pretty sure Theo's first word is going to be "Ciao." Or possibly "gelato." Or maybe "What the hell is with these toll roads? The next exit is twenty kilometers away and I have to pay 20 euros to get there?"

Check out our vacation pics here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Calm down, everyone. Though Jeff's parents were in town earlier this month, I can confirm for you that my father-in-law is not a nudist. This must have been someone else's father-in-law:

Naked U.S. tourist shocks German city

BERLIN (Reuters) - A naked American tourist raised eyebrows when he went for a walk through a German city and told police he thought this was acceptable behavior in Germany.

"We have been having unusually hot weather here lately but, all the same, we can't have this," a spokesman for police in the southern city of Nuremberg said on Tuesday. "The man said he thought walking around naked was tolerated in Germany."

Those of you who were planning a visit for later in the summer, consider yourselves warned.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Blog? What Blog?

Oh, that's right. Once upon a time I used to post stories about my life to the internet. Maybe I'll start that up again.

I've got some good vacation stories and super photos for you, so never fear. I'll be back soon. Unless Blake loses. In that case, I'm switching my blog background to black and going into mourning.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


I don't really understand text messaging, and I'm still figuring out how to use the speed dial on my cell phone, so Twitter didn't appeal to me initially. Until I learned that I could sign up to receive daily messages from Stephen Colbert. Or Homer Simpson. Or me.