Saturday, November 30, 2013
Friday, November 29, 2013
Thursday, November 28, 2013
For night one of Hanukkah, we got Bob a block set. It is 400 overpriced, identical pieces of pine. To me this seems like the equivalent of giving your kid a big cardboard box, a big, empty, overpriced cardboard box. Of course, he loves it. And we're suckers.
Wishing you a Happy Hanukkah and a Thanksgiving filled with love and gratitude.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Today some friends and I are telling stories about things gone wrong.
Read about their fantastic fiascoes at:
In my sophomore year in high school I was fifteen, old enough to start driver’s education classes. At the beginning of the semester we studied the rules of the road via the Department of Motor Vehicles information booklets. Next, we were horrified by the gore and bad acting of the California Highway Patrol series of driving instruction films, Red Asphalt and The Last Prom. Then for weeks, we sat in the simulator, a small trailer with rows of “driver’s seats” facing a film screen. A machine allowed our teacher to track our success and failure as we “drove” down the simulated streets on screen. Finally, we were then able to obtain our learner’s permit and get behind the wheel of the driver’s ed car.
Our teacher, Mr. Riordan who doubled as a Spanish teacher, sat on the passenger side of the car, equipped with another brake pedal. My driving training was scheduled for the early morning hours before school. During that time, Señor Riordan would direct me and two other students on a course of his own choosing. Some mornings we drove along the shore down West Cliff Drive as the sun came up. The girls in the car were challenged to keep their eyes on the road while surfers changed into wetsuits next to their Volkswagons.
Other mornings, Señor Riordan would lead us down windy back roads to a small diner where he would go in to get a cup of coffee and read the paper, leaving us behind in the parking lot. Even now, while driving exceptionally sharp turns, I hear his monotone voice in my head, “Break in, accelerate out. Break in to the turn, accelerate out.”
My final task was to master the manual transmission with my mom as my teacher. I was eager to show her all I had learned. On the day I started, my hands looked out of place to me in the ten and two position grasping the steering wheel of our blue 1979 Toyota Celica liftback. After fighting the stick shift out of neutral and into first gear, I eased the clutch out as I stepped on the gas, jerking the car to an abrupt stop, the Toyota's engine dying in the process. I restarted the car and repeated this move as we made our way down our street three feet at a time.
I was near tears as I finally had success moving forward. I stepped on the gas, the engine straining in first, and then promptly killed the car again as I tried to shift into second. And then I did it again. And again. Finally the transmission screeched as I somehow managed to change gears. Picking up speed I veered wildly, jumped the curb, plowing down three garbage cans in my neighbor’s yard before coming to a screeching stop against a mailbox post.
I sat behind the wheel and wailed to my mom that I would never be able to drive this, or any car. “I’m never driving again and I’m obviously moving to a convent and becoming a nun,” I cried and wiped my nose on my sleeve as I explained that I was pretty sure that nuns didn’t have to drive since they just got driven around in nun vans or something and that was my only logical life choice unless I planned to kill somebody and hadn’t she seen Red Asphalt? My mom quietly got out of the car and changed seats with me.
I would not have believed then that my next three cars would be stick shifts. My current car is an automatic but some days I still find my foot reaching for the clutch.
Labels: Ancient History
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
"... so see Bob, the future is always later from now."
"But Felix, what's the difference between the future and five minutes away?"
"Five minutes away is the future."
"But what about when the five minutes is finally here? It's not the future."
"Now isn't the future but then later it is."
"How much later?"
"I'm not sure."
Monday, November 25, 2013
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Friday, November 22, 2013
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Monday, November 18, 2013
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Eleven little signs you're doing just fine.
Artist Jennifer Greenburg inserts herself into vintage photographs and the results are fantastic.
And what the internet was created for: Fabulous photos of cats.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Friday, November 15, 2013
"Is today the day I'm going to Desmond's?"
"No Felix, you're going home."
"Are you guys coming over?"
"No, I think Bob and Bob's mom are just walking you home today."
"Yeah, because your brother is taking a nap."
"Not your brother Desmond, Felix's brother."
"So no one is coming over?"
"We're all just going home. We're not doing anything good today."
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
"Mom? Have you ever had a Sasquatch encounter?"
"Not that I know of. Have you?"
"Why is Sasquatch on your mind?"
"There's a new show about people looking for him. Me and Felix are going to the woods to find the Bigfoot Sasquatch."
"What will you use to lure him in?"
"We're going to bring a lot of lizards. We're pretty sure he like lizards."
Monday, November 11, 2013
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Friday, November 8, 2013
"I'll have the vegetarian egg white omelette with fruit and an English muffin."
"Very good, and what can I get for you, young man?"
"May I have the kid's turkey sandwich with nothing on it except the bread and the turkey and a tiny bit of mayonnaise on whole wheat bread, toasted? And instead of fries can I have fruit with another extra side of fruit please but not with the green melon just with the cantaloupe and watermelon? And also a milk in one of the cups with the lids and also two straws? And can I have two extra napkins? And did you know I won a character award at school last week? Thank you."
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
"Mom, Danny said that if you don't go to college you have to work at a car wash."
"That's not true."
"But Danny's in fourth grade."
"College can be a great thing but if you don't go it doesn't mean you'll have to work at a car wash. I didn't finish college."
"Did you ever work at a car wash, Mom?"
"I did not."
"Yeah, but it looks kind of fun."