Lemon-Scented Bivouac  

Fatherly and, eventually, teacherly blather. Also: graphic design, baseball, synthetic fabrics, jug band music and, lord help us, the occasional politics.

Friday, November 01, 2002  

Oll right, now I'm home and without excuse. Tough. This is too great not to introduce into your life.

  posted by Andy @ 11:19 PM §

So, yes, it is quarter-to-ten on a Friday night, and I'm posting to this thing. On the other hand, I am at work -- so pick your sin; I'm either socially inept or slothful. Maybe both.

Anyway, you should know about my brother-in-law's website of artwork. Brandon makes paintings that living, working, normal-type people would want to buy -- which is to say they're entertaining and not ridiculously stupid and pointless. I'd like to see fancy-ass puking-heads Susan Rothenberg or deliberate-mimesis-of-the-threadbare Eric Fischl come up with Bea Arthur wrestling a velociraptor or a rasslin Abe Lincoln or Ernest bursting out of the egg at the center of the universe. You can also see the page on Brandon's brilliant Edward Norton show, to which I contributed an all-Norton Viewmaster that is, alas, not possible to view online. However, you can view Dana's Fenestrated Norton, which should do.

  posted by Andy @ 10:02 PM §

Okay, so this is a test of the new commenting system that actually might work. See those little words that say "shout out" under here? Click on them and see what happens. You should be able to post little comments so we can discuss things like sippy cups without me having to be the mother hen of the henhouse. It doesn't remember who you are, so you'll have to tell it each time. And apparently it's a little flaky because everyone wants to use it (it actually draws off a remote host, for those who care). But there it is. Fun!

  posted by Andy @ 12:57 PM §

Thursday, October 31, 2002  

God damn, that DJ made my day.

  posted by Andy @ 7:30 PM §

About six weeks ago, at Chicago's Comiskey Park, a very freaky-looking dude and his son, both shirtless, leaped out of the stands and made a very girlish attempt to beat the stuffing out of the Kansas City Royals' first base coach. Right in front of the Royals' dugout. Which means, of course, that a bunch of beefy athletes ran out and stomped on them. It's one of those stories that, if you saw it or heard about it, you thought it couldn't get sadder. It's even sadder than you thought. (Understatement: "Ligue said he never should have been the adult in charge of a children's birthday party.")

  posted by Andy @ 7:29 PM §

Wednesday, October 30, 2002  

Wow -- controversy! First off, I have received multiple -- three, now -- responses on the sippy-cup issue. First off, a man who is no more than a mere "marketing guy" notes:

Yes, ok. It's a real thing, you hold it. It's designed for sipping...

But please! Technically, it's designed for not spilling. It's a training glass. The sippy cup readies the little bambino for a real cup and real drinking. It's a crutch, a stand-in, an almost-there-champ kind of proxy. More to the point, when did this bizarre invention hit the market? I know for a fact that I never had a sippy cup. I learned to drink BY NEGOTIATING AN ACTUAL DRINKING GLASS.

If I did have a sippy cup, I do not recall this BECAUSE IT WAS NO BIG DEAL. It was a cup. I was learning to drink without the benefit of a rubber nipple. The whole point was to work my way to drinking normally and not spilling liquids down the sides of my face. That was really all I needed to understand about the whole process. Having beverage streaming down the sides of my jaw was NOT OK. So learn to swallow.
Will do, old chap.

Meanwhile, a different JJ sees sippy cups as no more than a branching off point to I am better than your kids. You should see it.

Meanwhile, someone in Seattle pipes up for poor sippy cups, although not to me directly. And someone else thinks we should all be employing sippy cups.

The other controversy is unrelated (unless you can fabricate some kind of relation). I was sent this e-mail today, and I don't even remember making this post to MetaFilter:
I saw your post on a metafilter forum where you said that the worst performer of the rock and roll era is Billy Joel. I have never understood the ire so many in the online community have torwards this artist. He generates more hostility online then any artist of his generation. Would you please brielfly tell me what is wrong with him? All I see is a Tin Pan alley style songwriter who has written more standards then any other writer of the last 25 years. That 'self-righteousness' you spoke of on the Glass Houses album is purely tongue-in-cheek. To my ears he's the closest America has to a Paul Mccartney. Thanks for your time and a much hoped for response.

Well, what do I say now? I just don't like the man's music, that's all -- I think he's schmaltzy and banal. When I was 13 I thought The Nylon Curtain was deep and artistic, but, shit, I thought the same think about Pink Floyd and Big Country. I'm at a loss. I'm going to have to write back in Czech or send some ASCII art or something. I've locked up.

  posted by Andy @ 9:44 PM §

One of my first-ever responses to a post comes in return to yesterday's rant comes from, um, this anonymous respondent:

Alright, I agree whole-heartedly except for dissing the use of the words "sippy cup." I deplore talking about "poopees" and "peepees," BUT, a sippy cup is an actual thing. It's different from a regular cup. See? You sip from it. It's a "sippy cup." Also, one more thing, I have to admit we do ask [Lou] if she wants some "num num." There I said it. Allow me to explain....when we were first started her on solid foods, we would say things like "mmm" and "num, num" to encourage her as she was trying them. She picked up on it and started announcing she was hungry by saying "num num." Since she can't say "I'm hungry" and we've all come to an agreement on what "num num" means, we do sometimes ask her if she wants some "num num." Lord. Now you know.

Agreed. We will own sippy cups; we will talk about them. I think I associate sippy cups with those parents that go to our nearby zoo with a carriage burdened down with several enourmous bags of equipment, with a small, usually confused child somewhere in the middle. Those parents, when they're not demanding a precious response from their children ("See the monkey, MacKenzie? ISN'T HE A FUNNY MONKEY? ISN'T HE FUNNY? DO YOU SEE THE MONKEY?") are always calling out audibles on the Sippy Cup -- and they usually have two or three.
Phew. Enough on the anti-parent ranting.
Dana and I just ate five fine scrambled eggs that were the by-product of all that yelling and working from our backyard chickens. Delicious. Also with chicken sausage. It was just such a combination of egg and chicken that was named "Mother and Child Reunion" on a Chinese menu that Paul Simon once saw, and therefrom came the great song of the same name. I just bought a copy of that Paul Simon album -- his first, criminally underrated. Point is: Have an egg, listen to Paul Simon.
Just so you'd know. And now I have to go to work.

  posted by Andy @ 11:10 AM §

Monday, October 28, 2002  

Just added Buster Keaton to my Amazon wish list. Naturally posting a link to a wish list is an odious little gesture, but I'm honestly not trawling for purchases. Most of the wish list is for the kid-to-be; I'm trying to build a canon (how about -- a kid's kanon! Oh, the cuteness!).

(Actually the cuteness brings up a memory that has, of course, an opinion affixed to it. Not too long ago Dana and I were in a narrow passageway in the midst of a long line of people, including a very tense-looking mother who was one or two people removed from her very young daughter. This mother looked back and (in all-caps, I swear) said: "DO YOU HAVE TO GO PEEPEE? OR DO YOU HAVE TO MAKE A POOPEE?" Now, I ask: Does this have to happen? Is there anything that militates against asking your child: "Do you need to use the bathroom?" Will I, in two years' time, be talking in exactly the same way as this woman? (More to the point, will I have to have a moustache, embarassing sunglasses and a T-shirt from a touristy bar?)

Cliche-mongers like to assure parents-to-be that they will all wind up exactly like all other parents. Come to think of it, they like to assure all people that they will all monotonously act out the same set of mall-purchases set behaviors -- having those gosh-funny Battles of the Sexes (wife: "Do I look fat?" etc.); turning Republican; "nesting"; Mouthy Teenaged Kids Who Think Their Parents Are Square, etc. It's a grind, man; I don't feel those ways. Maybe, just maybe, I won't. Perhaps we'll cruelly deprive our children of those easily-understood words like POOPEE and SIPPYCUP and TINKYWINKY or whatever. At the very least, if we do throw those words around we'll do so in the confines of our own home. Yass, you can quote me.)

Anyway, tell me what you think of the wish list (whatever's not for the kid, it's obvious that it isn't). Drop me a line if you like.

  posted by Andy @ 10:56 PM §

Now controversy reigns. Dana assures me that the second head from the right (see entry below) really could match the second body from the right. I disagree, but not so strongly that I'm willing to push the matter a lot farther. Instead, I encourage everyone to enjoy the bizarre belly-out celebrating that Troy Percival did at Victory Time last night:

  posted by Andy @ 9:35 AM §

Sunday, October 27, 2002  

Those who know Dana and I (and yes, there; I've said her full name) know that we enjoy pictures in which a baseball player's head seems to be missing (we have two on file already). Sadly, we will only ever have access to this online photograph. Take a look at the second player from the right:

I'm not interested that he seems to be being buggered by Troy Glaus; I'm concerned with where his head is. I think it was Troy Percival, but I'm reluctant to say that the headless body of the man counts as the man.
Anyway, that strikes me as the highlight of what was, frankly, a pretty dull Series. Both teams paraded a bunch of affable nobodies into their starting rotation (Kirk Reuter? John "Fishface" Lackey?), so the advance drama of how-will-they-hit-this-guy vaporized. If a pitcher pitched well or got knocked around it seemed equally logical. There were a few spunky lead changes and there was the recurrent cycle of Barry Bonds returning to the plate. And in Troy Percival and Ben Weber the Angels did have a pair of truly eccentric, puffing, lunging, hairy, grimacing relief pitchers. Still doesn't make for a great Series, and the Angels still suck when they aren't massively spunky. So there.

  posted by Andy @ 11:38 PM §

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