Friday, September 15, 2006

Friday Randomness (Meme-a-licious Edition)

My Husband Had an Ironic Pseudo-Midlife-Crisis and All I Got was This Lousy T-Shirt
Hubby rolled in from the Electric Six concert last night at 3:30, muttering something enthusiastic about "Gay Bar" being even more fantastic when performed live. This is the man who loves sleep more than anyone I’ve ever met (you can read that either way: loves sleep more than anyone I’ve ever met does OR loves sleep more than he loves anyone I’ve ever met). I would post a pic of the t-shirt he got me if (a) I knew how to transfer photos from the camera to the computer, sad little techno-phobe that I am, and (b) if any of the pictures I took of myself wearing the t-shirt didn’t look like a middle-aged woman desperately trying to recapture her lost youth. It turns out that ironic pseudo-midlife-crises come in his and hers varieties.

Pitfalls of Parenting the Speech-Delayed Child
Bub has begun to appreciate the power of language to make things happen in the world around him (an essential step in language acquisition, according to his speech therapist). Six months ago, he used his words primarily for showing off: he would label objects and recite books and song lyrics, but he didn’t ask for things he wanted. Fast forward a few months, and Bub has mastered the imperative and begun experimenting with the interrogative. Hubby and I, however, are still lagging behind when it comes to resisting his pleas, especially now that he’s starting to understand the manipulative power of intonation. "More Life cereal!" he’ll plead in a desperate, choked-up voice, and I jump to pour some in his bowl, vowing that he WILL eat something other than cereal for supper, even if he doesn’t for lunch. Or, worse, he’ll hold out his video in mute appeal and then ask, with a perfect rising inflection, "Watch Baby ’Toven?" I cave every time. A solid diet of Baby Einstein videos and Life cereal can’t hurt a kid, right?

Don’t You Hate It When…
…you’re scrambling to get ready for play-group, surreptitiously arranging snacks and drinks, when you’re spotted in the act of pouring juice and forced to hand over said beverage with no further delay? And you figure, "She’s only 13 months old, she won’t drink the whole thing," only to turn around five minutes later and discover that the sippy cup is gone, missing, nowhere to be found, even after a hasty clean-up of the living room. And you finally give up and leave the house, only to return home two hours later and watch your baby make a bee-line to the kitchen cupboards, open them up, and triumphantly retrieve the sippy cup from among the mixing bowls and Tupperware?

What’s on p. 123 of the Book You’re Reading?
I was tagged for this meme by Owlhaven (isn’t that just the best name?). If you’re not doing so already, check out her "30 Days of Nothing," a project to reduce consumption for a month in order to become more mindful of how much we have and how little we truly need. It’s inspiring and challenging and, somehow, uncannily beautiful.

On with the meme.

Here are the instructions:
-Grab the book closest to you
-Open to page 123
-Scroll down to the 5th sentence
-Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog
-Name of the book and the author
-Tag 3 people

Because I’m a cheaty cheater, I’m going to do the book I picked up the first time I saw this meme rather than the one that was nearest me when I read Owlhaven’s tag. It’s Alexander McCall Smith’s Espresso Tales. Here are sentences 5 through 8:

"It was possible, he said, to become a partner rather earlier than that, but if I wanted to achieve that I would have to marry one of the senior partner’s daughters, and that, he said, was asking too much. I think that this was meant to be a joke, but I thought that it was in very bad taste, and I was surprised that a partner in an Edinburgh firm would speak in this way. I later discovered that Mr Monboddo only said things like that when he had had a small glass of sherry, and so I learned to distinguish between those things that were said in all seriousness and those that were not. I have always taken the view that one should never hold against a man anything that he says after twelve o’clock at night or after a glass or two of something."

A nice, forgiving policy, that one, don’t you think?

Intermission between Memes: Social Conformity for Toddlers
Instead of merely reciting books, Bub has now taken to inserting his name into them at appropriate junctures. One of his favourite books is Go, Dog, Go!, which lends itself well to that technique. His favourite line, perhaps, is "Now it is time for all dogs to go to sleep." It can be used in a variety of circumstances: "Now it is time for all Bubs to have breakfast" or "Now it is time for all Bubs to get into the car." But I’m concerned about this stifling of his individuality: if all Bubs were jumping off a cliff, would he jump too?

We Now Return to Your Regularly Scheduled Meme-ing
I’m going to tag myself for this one: Veronica Mitchell has posted a list of her top ten all-time best TV characters, based on Joss Whedon’s list of same. You know that if Joss Whedon’s doing it, it’s got to be cool, and really much the same thing could be said for Veronica Mitchell. So here’s my list:

1. Alex P. Keaton from Family Ties: "What did you think / I would do at this moment / When you’re standing before me / With tears in your eyes…" The fact that Michael J. Fox ended up marrying Tracy Pollan just makes that episode all the more romantic.

2. Duke Lavery from General Hospital (ca. 1985): Whedon already picked Anna Devane (a fantastic choice), so I’ll go with Duke. Even though her real true love was always Robert Scorpio, Duke was a romantic Scotsman with mob connections and a heart of gold – who could ask for more than that?

3. Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation: If I need to explain it, you obviously wouldn’t understand.

4. Angela Chase from My So-Called Life: One look in Angela’s eyes, and it was instant, total, and painful recognition: THAT is what it felt like to be fifteen years old.

5. Marilla Cuthbert from Anne of Green Gables: Television adaptations of beloved books can be tricky things, but Colleen Dewhurst’s interpretation wasn’t simply bang-on: my understanding of the character grew to meet the dignity, intelligence, and humour of Dewhurst’s Marilla.

6. Wesley Wyndham-Price from Angel: THE best character arc I’ve ever seen on television: his evolution from bumbling oaf to dark hero is subtle, plausible, and totally riveting. (And, yes, as I commented on Veronica’s post, I would have named my second-born son after him, if I had had a second-born son.)

7. Mojo Jojo from The Powerpuff Girls: Funniest villain on television, especially when he teams up with his very own Yoko Ono (clad all in white) to do some installation crime.

8. Miranda from Sex and the City: The best (and most under-appreciated) character on the show.

9. Bertie Wooster from Jeeves and Wooster: Hugh Laurie is hilarious on Blackadder and mesmerizing on House, but since those shows have already been mentioned I’ll put a little plug in for P.G. Wodehouse (I always think of Bertie Wooster when I’m teaching The Wind in the Willows and talking about the charming, adventurous, and utterly irresponsible Toad).

10. Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Oh yes.

Hmmm, who should I tag? Okay - I tag Mouse, Mayberry, and Aliki. And you can pick! One meme or both - whatever you want!


kittenpie said...

I'm with you on Jean-Luc (mmm) and on Marilla (totally right about her bringing so much to that character who would easily have been minimized in a different version).

metro mama said...

Yeah, Spike!

I love Alexander McCall Smith.

Suzanne said...

Oh, Spike! Yes! And I love Alex P Keaton, too.

Veronica Mitchell said...

Who else could make two memes in a row so interesting? Well done.

penelopeto said...

Fun one! Love the anicdote about the sippy cup - it's good when we finally realize that our kids are smarter than us.
my tv list would look a little different - nellie olsen, natalie from facts of life, rachel karen greene, johnny gage & roy desoto would be on it.

Mayberry said...

Ooh, thanks for the tag. I'll give it the serious consideration it deserves and respond shortly!

something blue said...

I want to see your t-shirt picture. Your memes were so much fun to read. Miranda is the above all, best friend that one could have. Love her!

Suz said...

Yay Spike! I had a little crush on Duke Lavery and an even a bigger one on Anna Devine. I saw Patrick Stewart in a one-man show - he's fabulous in whatever he does.

Pieces said...

Great meme combo! I was gonna tag you but you beat me to it. It's kind of nice, though. Instant gratification for me.

I agree with so many of your choices. I'm so disappointed that I didn't think of Marilla. She would have made me list for sure.

Jennifer said...

Oh, I miss Angela Chase!

Fun list!

nomotherearth said...

MMmmm, Spike and Wesley. I am so with you there. I would add Logan from Veronica Mars. One of the sexiest, most interesting characters from a show that is one of Joss' favourites. I would say so much more, but then you would know me for the Whedon-esque lover that I am.

nonlineargirl said...

I agree about Anglea Chase and Spike, but I especially love that you included Mojo Jojo. Just edging him out for me would be Dexter (of Dexter's Laboratory). You have to love a child scientist with a vague European accent born into a family in which no one else has the accent!

Mouse said...

It was much fun to think back through a number of shows, and my response is now posted. Now I need to go check out the lists you linked to--didn't want to go through them beforehand so that I'd be unduly influenced.

Although I didn't pick Spike, he is another favorite. One year at Halloween, a student bleached his hair and dressed all in black, including a long coat. I asked him if he was Spike and went up several rungs on the coolness ladder for knowing.

mad_hatter said...

Howz about Joey Jeremiah from the original Degrassi? An I must say that though I love Spike, Anya would be the BTVS character to top my list.

Minnehaha Mama said...

1) You ought to go read She recently wrote movingly about her little speech delayed guy. Plus, she's a Canadian to boot.

2) I was partial to Richard Farnsworth's Matthew. The husband actually cried when he died. I tease him about this mercilessly.

Mary-LUE said...

Minnehaha Mama, Richard Farnsworth is the best. Have you seen The Straight Story> I cried when he died in real life. He committed suicide after the Academy Awards the year he was nominated for Best Actor for The Straight Story. He had cancer and was in a lot of pain. His eyes were so expressive.

I've been thinking about this meme all day and I think I'm too pooped to come up with a whole list. However, I did think of a group that would be on my list: The Mission Impossible team. That show rocked my childhood world. I loved all the intrigue and the gadgets. It was so much fun. Now, looking back, there was a team of men and women working together. They were all capable. It didn't matter if you were a man or a woman. If you were on the team it was because you were good. I think that is a great example!

Karianna said...

Ooooohhh Spike. How I love thee!

Karianna said...

Oh, and I had a newt named "Jean-Luc Bacardi." His newt-mate was "Bailey" ('s Irish Cream)

Rock the Cradle said...

Jean-Luc yumminess.

I'd add Detective Frank Pembleton (Andre Braugher) to my list. Only because Homicide (disregarding the final year)was one of the best shows in the history of television. Not that I have any strong feelings about this, mind you.

bubandpie said...

Can I say how much I appreciate all you Jean-Luc supporters? Hubby is a Kirk fan and likes to look down his nose at TNG, so we sure showed him!

And Nonlinear Girl? - I'm so glad somebody recognized Mojo Jojo!

Beck said...

I found Angela Chase so dead on that I absolutely could not watch the show. Fun list! And yay! Alexcander McCall!

Nancy said...

Oooh, that TV character meme is too fun. I definitely agree with Jean-Luc and Angela. Gosh, and I'd almost forgotten about Alex P. Keaton. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

No! Bertie Wooster is nothing like Mr Toad. Drawing a parallel between them will merely confuse your students. Bertie is a perfect knight in an imperfect world; Toad is a mere braggart. Bertie never lets down a friend; Toad always does. Bertie is a reasonable man surrounded by impulsive fools; Toad is an impulsive fool surrounded by reasonable men. Bertie drives his two-seater carefully; I needn't tell you how Toad drives his. Any similarities between the two are quite irrelevant.