Friday, February 29, 2008

Three Things for Friday, February 29, 2008

  1. I am a very lucky person. I have a great wife, wonderful son, a great job, a lovely home.
  2. I am healthy, well fed -- despite my diet-induced grumbling -- a do not fear harm will come to me from war or other violence.
  3. I enjoy freedoms most people in the world can't even comprehend. I create my own destiny.

Three Things for Thursday, February 28, 2008

  1. Knitting for a baby is fun. And, since things are little, you see results so much faster.
  2. A year ago today my old firm announced that they were closing. While March last year was one of the most difficult times in my life, I am so much better off today -- emotionally and financially -- that I can't help but believe in the guiding hand of G-d.
  3. The Brass Sisters sent me a copy of their first episode of their debut series for WGBH. (Be sure to watch the trailer!) They make me laugh. They are so feisty. I can't wait to see the remainder of the season. (Burnt sugar ice cream. Ummmmmm.)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Three Things for Tuesday, February 26, 2008

  1. I worked late, and after hours I played a mix I'd burned of Bollywood and Bangra recordings. VERY peppy.
  2. A stranger came up to me on the street and complimented me on my hat. I love my hat. I think I'm gonna marry it.
  3. My brother Mark sent me an e-mail with a very funny, very inappropriate video attached. I laughed so hard I worried about bladder control.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Two 18-year-old women were removed from a Southwest Airlines flight. They contend that they were removed from the flight because they were "too pretty".

I'm not making this up.

This is my favorite part:

"University of South Florida student Nisreen Swedberg and friend Sarah Williams said the flight crew was rude to them from the start of their flight from Tampa Bay to Los Angeles on Feb. 14, wrote.

“I think they were just discriminating against [us] because we were young decent-looking girls. I mean, nobody else on the plane looked like us except us...”

If I were the spokesperson for the airline, my entire statement would have read as follows:

Southwest Airlines does not remove ticketed passengers from flights without good reasons. While I will not go into what those reasons might be, I have seen pictures of the young women and I can state most emphatically that they were not removed from the flight because they were "too pretty".

Three Things for Monday, February 25, 2008

  1. Snow is beautiful.
  2. Norbert's smile.
  3. My grandmother's marmalade.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Three Things for Sunday, February 24, 2008

  1. A nap in the middle of the day is a very civilized thing. I am grateful.
  2. Norbert was quite good in his play. He showed real confidence and it was obvious he had worked on his part. I am thankful he had this very clear example of how working hard pays off.
  3. Today was back to dieting. (Maybe this should be a four thing day, because I am always thankful I don't diet on Shabbat.) Krusteez Fat Free Crumb Cake is on my diet. And it was good! I mean it was gooood. It really was just like not being on a diet!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Three Things for Saturday, February 23, 2008

  1. Migraines do go away.
  2. I love tuna and noodle casserole...with extra mushrooms...and extra tuna...and some sauteed shallots and a little dash of white wine.
  3. While I did not win the powerball, I am incredibly grateful that my life is so good, I don't have to win the lottery to be happy.

It's A Miracle...

I haven't taken more than a handful of good pictures in the last 20 years. A couple from my wedding, a couple from Norbert's bris, and one memorable one from a day we spent in Chinatown a few years back. And then I received this in the mail.

On reflection, I must take good pictures when I am my happiest. I have a migraine as I write this, so I am more emo than I normally am, but if I close my eyes I can literally feel a baby against my chest...and I feel better.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Three Things for Friday, February 22, 2008

  1. Norbert has a good part in his school play. Today was the first of three performances. (We are going to the Sunday matinee.) Several parents -- including the mother of the title character -- stopped me on my way into school this afternoon to say that Norbert stole the show...not by grandstanding, but by giving a really good performance.
  2. I was invited today to a party given by and for my extended family. Family that I felt estranged from for decades. This is progress.
  3. I love baking bread, and making challah most of all.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Three Things for Thursday, February 21, 2008

  1. Kellogg's Frosted Flakes Gold...they're Grrrreat!
  2. Little Bird's picture on my office desktop made me smile.
  3. Kneading bread dough makes me happy.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Little Bird's Debut

She's the most beautiful little puffin ever to walk the face of the earth.

Below is a picture of our first meeting...notice the very sharp hat I'd just picked up on Delmar. When this picture was being taken I believe I was saying, "Hello, Little Bird. I'm your Uncle Aidan. You and I are going to be best friends. You are going to tell me all kinds of wild stories and I am going to take you shoe shopping and for spa days and facials and to get you eyebrows threaded. You will be the only girl in grade school with Mac cosmetics or Manolos." She cooed.

A fella could get used to this...
Here I am singing to her. I decided to start with songs of the Irish Resistance, 1800 to 1900...from Bold Robert Emmet to the Bold Fenian Men. And I threw in a few family drinking songs, just for good measure. Proud mom Maxine is on the left and Norbert looks on from the right.

I have to wait a full three weeks before I get to hold her again. Life is not fair.

Monday, February 18, 2008


The entire week. No gossip. None. I even turned off the network news when they started stories I decided did not meet my journalistic standards. I haven't a clue what is going on, and, what's more, I'm ok with that.


Myfanwe, Norber and I went to St. Louis on Friday for the baby naming of Little Bird*, the new daughter of George and Maxine. (You may recall me writing about the baby shower in December.)

George and Maxine were delivered of a spectacular little girl on January 27th, and she was given her name, Little Bird, yesterday morning. I don't know when I've had so much fun. I love George and Maxine so much, I love who they are together, and I've always believed that the world was a better place because they found each other. Now that I've seen my beloved Little Bird, that belief is validated.

No pictures -- I have to say that the minute I held her for the first time my brain turned completely to jelly and I not only forgot how to opperate a camera, i forgot I owned one. All I wanted to do was to hold her and sing to her and rock her and eat her up.

While we were in St. Louis we had some spectacular meals. We ate Friday night at Mekong on Grand -- a quirky Vietnamese restaurant that made a spectacular bowl of pho. I was having a special bowl with slices of bbq pork, shrimp and crab. First taste? Eeh. It was ok. Good. Very good, in fact. But nothing to blog home about. I asked for a little drizzle of chili oil, which transformed an acceptable dish to a sublime dish! Myfanwe and I loved the food so much, we ordered (and ate) another entree -- a bowl of noodles, grilled chicken, and other yummies topped with the best fish sauce I've ever eaten. (Note: We don't diet from sundown on Friday night to Sundown on Saturday. So we weren't cheating on our diets.)

Saturday lunch we ate at Thai Pizza in the Delmar Loop neighborhood. Thai Pizza sounds incongruous, but was a terrific meal. I wanna go back. Myfanwe wants to sell our home and use the cash to open a Thai Pizza in Chicago. I'm not going to say more about the food -- mostly because I AM dieting today and I'm hungry -- but if you are ever in St. Louis, eat there.

I am having baby withdrawl today, so I think i should start planning our next visit to St. louis to see my Little Bird!

*Names of minors are changed to protect the privacy of the innocent. Names of adults are often changed to protect their privacy or to ensure I'm not violating any restaining orders!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

DAY 5 And I'm Still ALIVE!

Day 5 of National Say no to Lies Week, and it has been easier than I thought it would be. I put all of my favorite internet bookmarks into a folder marked "Gossip", so accessing them would take a consious decision to engage with gossip. That made it really easy.

Not that I haven't come close to making a mistake or two. Just a moment ago I clicked on a Refdesk headline "Jane Fonda Uses Vulgar Slang on `Today'", but before it loaded I remembered what week it is, and I was able to save myself just in the nick of time.

I have absolutely no idea what Brittany is doing. Or LaLohan. Price William could be dating George Michael, for all I know. (Though I think Myfanwe might have mentioned something, if that were the case.) There were pop-culture jokes last night on leno that I didn't understand.


Myfanwe and I are getting ready to re-do our kitchen. We've met with a couple of contractors. We have the money in place. We have very similar tastes. We both agree that utilitarian kitchens are better than showy kitchens.

And yet there is one obstacle that may be too high for us to surmount. Flooring.

Yes, I like interlocking linoleum, but I heard from one contractor that he doesn't like it in the kitchen because of water. Myfanwe wants rubber flooring -- which I love -- but she wants it for $5 a square foot, and she isn't going to get that. Anywhere. I thought that ceramic tile seemed like a logic product, since it is economical, durable, easy to clean, etc. Myfanwe is now trying to convince me that she recently developed an intense allergy to ceramic tile that may prove life threatening. I don't want wood because a) our upstairs neighbors have flooded us on occasion and b) I drop knives...and I have never seen hardwood that really resisted scratches.

And apparently they can put in anything without a floor. Every room is supposed to have one.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Does anyone have a summer place in Provincetown or anywhere on Cape Cod or someplace east-coasty and New Englandy that they would like to let out (reasonably) during the week one week in August? We want to relax at the seaside for part of our vacation and see some of the historical New England sites. And, given the wonders of the internet, you never know.

References available on request.
If I need to sweeten the pot any, I just saw this, and it struck me how lovely this shawl would look draped across the shoulders while walking on the shores of Cape Cod. Or Hyannis. Or The Vineyard...


Sunday, February 10, 2008


I tend to think about things a lot. That doesn't always result in planning things in advance... it's more like anticipation.

Myfanwe, Norbert, and Norbert's best friend, No Pie, and I were discussing the Knitting Olympics at breakfast. (This is what civilized people talk about during Say No To Lies Week.) And I said that my plan for the Knitting Olympics was to knit a lace shawl in the 18 days allotted. I will probably have to take vacation time and knit in an undisclosed location so as to avoid distractions, but I think I can do a shawl in 18 days.

Well, with that decided, I'm sure you can imagine where next my deviant little mind decided to take me.

Yes. You are correct! Right down the path of "What-Will-I-Knit-And-What-Yarn-Will-I-Use?"

I only have one of those questions answered.

Danny Ouelette's Diamonds and Roses Shawl. Knit in fingering weight, so 18 days wouldn't be terribly unrealistic. Seed stitch border. I will knit it in something soft...maybe cashmere from ColourMart.

Oh, how exciting. I wish I didn't have to wait 2 whole years. But some things are worth it. Right?

Unless someone knows of a knitalong I don't. In which case, I might have to alter my plan. Oh, dear.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


What follows is a distillation of the top entertainment headlines today:

  • Actress Kirsten Dunst checkis into Rehab
  • Kevin Federlin Scraps Reality Show Plans Due to Britney Chaos
  • TMS is LIVE at Britney's House in Bev Hills
  • Lufti's New Publicist Makes No Sense
  • Hugh Heffner, Holly Madison Trying for Kids (OK -- that in not only offensive gossip, it is also gross.)
  • Brit's Family to Wasser: Come Back!
  • Sam has NOT Been Served
  • A Day in the Life of a Trainwreck
  • Is That Posh Actually Talking?
  • J.Lo is HUUUUUGE!
  • Ledger Death a lesson
  • Spears' Parents Believe Britney's Life at Risk
  • Michael Jackson Coughs Up $$$ in Taxes on Neverland
  • Ex-Miss Nevada USA Katie Rees Released From jail
  • Ledger's Death Highlights Prescription Drug Issues
  • Britney Leaves Hospital; Parents 'Fear for Her Life'
  • Brandy's Mom: Kim Kardashian, Siblings Had Chance to Avoid Litigation
  • Buzz Briefs: Ex-Miss nevada, Lohan
  • Spears Released from UCLA Hospital
  • Accidental Overdose Killed Ledger
  • DeMornay's Attorney Enters No-Contest Pleas to DUI Charge
  • LAPD on Britney Spears Case

Doesn't that make you spit up a little?

Guess what! National Say No to Lies Week (my very own invention) is February 10 through February 16. Join me in saying no to people who prey on and take pleasure in the misfortune of other. Be sure to tell your friends -- have them swear off, too! Because if people of conscience band together, we CAN win the Truth Wars against the Gossip Whores!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


I have a dirty little secret. Really dirty. And it used to be a little titillating, but now it is just embarassing and disgusting and filthy and it makes me feel really bad about myself.

I read gossip columns.

I'm trying to stop. I really am. But let me tell you, kicking gossip is harder than booze, smokes, and pills put together. (This experience talking.)

I made the decision to ween myself from the destructive forces of Satan's-minions-in-journalists'-clothing after reading about how Heath Ledger was a hopeless drug addict. The proof of this? He was at a Hollywood party where other people -- other people -- were known to have done drugs. Re-read the sentence. Say it out loud. Go on. You are right. It does get more ludicrous each time you read it.

I've been at parties where two women made out. Does that mean I'm a lesbian?

If I continue to consume the crap these sites produce, I am just as guilty of defiling Mr. Ledger's memory as the craptastic "writers" who intentionally speak lies of the dead. And I want no part of it.

I know I can't take back those hours spent on the internet, reading up on Danilynn, and I can't un-read the blog reports of Mr. Ledger's death. I can't un-laugh at Britney Spears' devolution. But I can change my behavior in the future and I can ask others to join along.

I hereby, officially, through the power invested in me by this blog, declare February 10 through February 16 National Say No to Lies Week and urge you, my friends, to join me -- no E!, no Perez, no TMZ, no Entertainment Tonight or Hard Copy or National Enquirer or World Weekly News or Faded Youth or WoW!. No. No. No. No. No.

Drop me a Comment if you are with me. And pass the word on to your friends.

Monday, February 04, 2008


There was a moment when Norbert was little...a moment where doubt and insecurity pressed in on me and I asked myself how on earth I could sleep at night knowing I had brought a child into this world -- a world which seemed, at times, devoid of hope, devoid of progress, and filled with vitriol and hate.

There are plenty of reasons to still be woeful. We are a nation at war. We have been at war for seven of his nearly eleven years of life. In his lifetime we have gone from budget surpluses and decreasing national debt to unabashedly spending his inheritance on anything and everything made by or provided by Haliburton.

But you know what? I have hope. I have a lot of it. Listen to this, listen carefully, listen to the words...I bet you have hope too. Tomorrow we will make history in this country.

If your state is holding primaries or caucus', get out and vote. Can we make a difference?

Yes we can. Yes we can. Yes we can.