I’ve Been There

Livia Soprano: [watching Emeril Lagasse on a cooking show] He’s not even washing his hands!

The Sopranos, “Do Not Resuscitate” (1/23/00)

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One of my favorite webcomics is “Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal”, perhaps because (like so many of my favorites) it’s a fun little mix of bent humor with some fan service for the nerds in the audience as well (some of the meta-jokes in the strip relate to the number of graph-based jokes the creator, Zach Weiner, uses).

At any rate, I came across this recent strip, and I realized that I’ve had similar musings:

 

This guy is not amused. I was in a men’s room in a dance club or some such, several years ago. This was one of those places that had an actual washroom attendant in it. As I approached the sink, it crossed my mind:

  1. I took a shower before we went out
  2. I did wash myself “down there”
  3. I put on clean undies
  4. Therefore, that should be pretty much the cleanest part of my body
  5. I’ve been driving, opening doors, handling money—my hands should be filthy by now
  6. And now I’ve gone and ruined things by touching myself when I used the facility
  7. Maybe I should wash my penis in the sink (never mind my hands), since it’s now contaminated?

However, the washroom attendant wasn’t on board with my idea, even when I offered him a bigger tip.

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Here’s another bathroom story: Once, I was eating something that was getting all over my hands (like crabs, when you wind up with a hand full of Old Bay, dig?). At one point I had to use the rest room, so I found a men’s room and, being a reasonably smart person (some mistakes you only make once), I washed off my hands before going to the urinal.

This guy who had followed me in and went straight for the urinal couldn’t help himself. He said to me, “You know, where I come from, we wash our hands AFTER we use the toilet.”

I poured on my New York accent (which is usually well-buried) and said to him, “Where I come from, we don’t piss on our hands.”

Flix

Viola Fields: What do you do for fun?
Pop Star: I love watching really old movies. They’re my favorite.
Viola Fields: Really? Which ones?
Pop Star: Well, "Grease" and "Grease II." Um, "Benji." I love "Benji." "Free Willy," um…"Legally Blonde," "The Little Mermaid."

–Monster-in-Law (2005)

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I’ve mentioned before that I’ve gotten Wee One, who is now all of eleven years old, into watching some older stuff. She’s got some appreciation for the original Looney Tunes cartoons, she’s a fan of TOS Star Trek, we’ve been through The West Wing and The Odd Couple (don’t get me started on the way they’ve edited the DVDs to avoid paying rights fees for some music), and we are now working our way through Hawaii Five-O (and hoping that the show’s new incarnation doesn’t suck).

Shot on location in the Late, Great Luna Park. I’ve also managed to get her to enjoy older comedy movies. She’s a big fan of the Marx Brothers and she’s developing an appreciation for silent movies, including those of Buster Keaton. So last night, after dinner, I was pretty excited to see that TCM was showing Harold Lloyd’s last silent film, Speedy, at a decent hour as part of their “Essentials Jr.” series, hosted by John Lithgow.

The horse-drawn streetcar was barreling through the Battery Park area and the stunt driver couldn't quite make it past one of the uprights supporting the elevated train, so it plowed right into the support post. It looked so good that it became part of the plot. I won't tell you how they managed to continue the chase scene, but continue it did. She was skeptical at first, but Lithgow has a cool delivery which is aimed at a younger set (although I have no idea why they keep running a second camera angle while he continues talking to the first camera, so we get a profile shot of him talking). And he described two scenes which really piqued her interest: in one, a high-speed drive through New York City (on location, mind you) was shot by mounting a camera on an ambulance and sending it through traffic with lights and sirens on. In another, an on-set accident which was captured on film looked so good that they worked it into the storyline. There’s also a cameo by Babe Ruth (and Lou Gehrig, briefly), and shots of vintage New York City in the late 1920s. We’d taken Wee One to Coney Island before, so she was pretty enthralled by the night shots of the long-departed Luna Park, and was a little disappointed not to see the Wonder Wheel (which was, in fact, around at the time).

So I’m hoping that I’m building in her an appreciation for what went before, and how the stuff that happened then affects the stuff we see now. And maybe Wife won’t sigh so loudly when Wee One is hot to see another episode of Hawaii Five-O, even if it’s to have a bit of a laugh at the oddball production values.

Did You Hear Me!

Joey: [smarmy voice] There’s always room for jello.
Rachel: …How do you make that dirty?
Joey: Oh, it’s easy. Yeah, I-I can do it with anything. Watch, uh…
[snaps his fingers and in the same smarmy voice]
Joey: Grandma’s chicken salad.

Friends, “The One Hundredth” (10/8/98)

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I was cruising up Harford Road a day or two ago, on my way home, when I got slowed way down by the usual traffic that builds up between 25th Street and St. Lo Drive/The Alameda. While waiting, I happened to notice what I can only assume is a new take-out place, with some hand-lettered signs attached to the wall outside. One of them detailed the Special of the Day:

For those not locally based, a "Chicken Box" is a pretty standard take-out meal in Baltimore. It's a specific number of chicken pieces, plus fries and usually a dinner roll. $4.50 isn't bad for a chicken box, although this one is all wings.

I don’t know why, but the second half of that Chicken Box sign completely cracked me up.

You Will Get Wet on This Ride

Rufus T. Firefly: Now, what is it that has four pairs of pants, lives in Philadelphia, and it never rains but it pours?
Chicolini: Atsa good one. I give you three guesses.
Rufus T. Firefly: Now let me see. Has four pair of pants, lives in Philadelphia… Is it male or female?
Chicolini: No, I no think so.
Rufus T. Firefly: Is he dead?
Chicolini: Who?
Rufus T. Firefly: I don’t know. I give up.
Chicolini: I give up, too.

Duck Soup (1933)

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A couple of days ago, I had me a bit of an adventure.

I had a few projects that I needed to do, but from what I’d gathered, it looked like I was also going to need Wife’s car to get it done, since I had to schlep around a bunch of items to several schools I work with. So on Tuesday morning I had three projects to deal with:

  1. Go to Notre Dame and pay off my tuition bill so they’d release my grades;
  2. Go to the office, turn in the grades and then make a bunch of phone calls to school principals;
  3. Go to the Baltimore Museum of Industry, pick up the materials and then deliver them to a bunch of schools.

Now, it was raining on Tuesday morning, and unfortunately my raincoat is in my car. This is bad because, as I mentioned before, I had Wife’s car. I said, “ah, the hell with it” and went without a coat.

So, off I go to the College of Notre Dame. I park in the 30-minute zone, which is close to the building, and head inside. Go to the Business Office and pay off the tuition, then to the Registrar to get a couple of copies of my transcript. Total elapsed time: 20 minutes, no problem at all.

Back outside and into the car. I pull out of the parking space and it’s immediately apparent that something’s wrong. I stop the car and look around at the front passenger side.

Flat tire. In the rain. As usual.

I don’t get many flats in the good weather; I don’t know why. And this time it’s not even my own fricken car.

Now, since this is Wife’s mini van and not my own car, the first thing I have to do is figure out where the spare tire is. A quick look in the back gives up only the jack and the tire iron. But what’s this under the space where the jack is stashed? It’s a big plastic lug nut-looking thing. That’s when I realize: this is one of those cars where the spare is suspended UNDERNEATH the back. You have to crank the nut-looking thing to let the spare down, using the tire iron/jack handle.

The saving grace for this is that I’m standing under the open tailgate to do this, so I’m not getting especially wet. However, the nut-looking thing is in such a place that you can’t attach the jack handle and just spin it around; you have to do a half-turn, then pivot the handle over itself, then half-turn again, pivot again, half-turn, pivot…and so on, until the cable has completely lowered the spare to the ground, at which point you can maneuver the gizmo at the end of the cable that’s holding the spare, through the hole in the spare to set it free of the cable.

One of these little pain-in-the-ass guys that you're not supposed to go over 50MPH when you're using it. This took easily about twenty minutes. But OK! Got my spare (one of those compact donut jobbies), got my jack, got my jack handle, now off to remove the bad tire. I’m getting rained on now, but this shouldn’t take too long.

It took a little doing, but I was able to loosen the lug nuts on the car, then I got the jack underneath. The car has one of those scissor-style jacks that you have to line up with some landmark underneath the car, so now I’m starting to get wet AND dirty. Great.

And, of course, when it’s close to the ground the jack works much the same way that the nut-looking thing did: half-turn, pivot; half-turn, pivot, and so forth.

It was at about this point that a Campus Security vehicle approached me and asked what I was up to. I told him I had a flat and, ever the helpful guy, he nodded and drove away. Thanks! Glad I dropped several thou to pay your salary, Asshat!

Crank…crank…crank…and finally the jack appeared to be doing its job. The tire started to lift off the ground, and then WHUMP! the car fell to the ground. Yow! Dammit! The car fell off the jack! Really? I mean, REALLY?

No, not really, as it turned out.

So I have to hand-crank the jack back down to the low position and got it back under the car, then began cranking again. This time, as the car started to lift, I watched it MUCH more carefully. And that’s when I saw it start to fall again, then stop because I’d stopped cranking. I took a peek underneath to see why the jack was tipping over.

AAA to the rescue! It wasn’t tipping; the base was flat on the ground. The jack itself was starting to bend out of shape. I cranked it back down (a task that was tougher than it should have been, because of the bending), got back in the car and called AAA. I explained to them what was going on (flat tire, twisting jack) and they said that someone would be out within the hour. Apparently they were quite busy that day so they couldn’t guarantee any faster than that. Eh, what are ya gonna do? I sat in the car and listened to the radio. I couldn’t call the principals like I’d planned because A) I didn’t have all their numbers; B) I had to keep the phone line clear; and C) the battery was starting to wind down. Fortunately it wasn’t more than about a half hour when my phone rang. It was the driver, pulling in behind me.

So of course he comes out and I tell him what’s up, and he breaks out the hydraulic jack, and between that and his pneumatic wrench-that-looks-like-a-hand-drill, he has the tire changed in about nine seconds. Flat tire into the back, get my butt back into the car…

…which doesn’t want to start.

I leaned out the window and hollered, “We may not be done yet!” He walks back over and has me turn the key again. “Pop the hood,” he says, “you need a jump.” This was probably because, so I could listen to the radio, I had the key in the “accessory” position, which means that the headlights, which have the “auto” setting, had been on the entire time. (I don’t have that on my car so I forget about it on hers.) He breaks out another little box from his truck and hooks it up to the proper places on the battery/chassis, and away we go.

Of course, at this point I’m not only drenched from head to toe with the rain, I’m also filthy from all the grime on the tires and the ground and the jack and whatever else. So I wound up going home to change into different clothes, not necessarily appropriate for a business-type office. Not that I cared at that point.

Come to think of it, now it’s the weekend and I still haven’t made all of those phone calls that I wanted to.

That Not-So-Fresh Feeling

Chuck Bartowski: So listen, I’ve been thinking a lot about last night. And you know, you guys was talking about how this spy could be, you know, valuable, to us. So I was thinking what if we could convince her to, I don’t know, like give up… some secret stuff…
Sarah Walker: You mean defect?
Chuck Bartowski: Defect, yes! People do that kind of thing all the time, right? The Hunt for Red October… uh… White Nights…[Casey just stares at him] White Nights? Gregory Hines, Baryshnikov, dancing their way to freedom?
John Casey: [sarcastically] Well, as long as you’ve done serious research on the subject.

Chuck, “Chuck Versus the Sizzling Shrimp” (10/22/07)

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This past weekend, Wife and I traveled up to New Paltz, NY to visit Daughter, who had a show going on at school.

Now, Daughter was the Assistant Stage Manager for the show, a position she describes as, “I sweep the floor, I move a table shortly before the first act ends, and otherwise I don’t do shit.” But we haven’t seen her in weeks and, when you’re a parent, this is What You Do. So, Wife and I got in the car on Friday afternoon and trundled our way to this little college town a few miles outside of Poughkeepsie.

We got there late Friday night and settled into the Super 8 Motel in Highland, the next town over. Throughout the trip we tried calling Daughter but her phone was constantly going direct to voicemail, so she really had no idea that we were coming up, since I’d kind of left it up in the air the last time we’d spoken. Saturday morning I called her mother to find out what was up. It turns out that she’s been having problems with getting the phone to charge. Now, when you’re a parent of a daughter who’s in her freshman year on a campus that’s two hours from the nearest relative, you want her to be able to break out a phone and call for someone nearby to save her ass from whatever imagined dangers there are out there in this Big, Bad, Evil World That’s Much Worse Than The One We Grew Up In. So getting the phone fixed was a priority. Her mother told us where we’d likely find her, so we went to the campus and, sure enough, she was there in the theater building. (There are two buildings; she was in the OTHER one.)

Daughter was, naturally, surprised and pleased to see us, but since there was also an early show, she couldn’t break away until late in the afternoon. Fair enough, we said. We’ll wander the area until later on and See You Later.

So we did that, exploring some of the things that New Paltz and its immediate surroundings had to offer, getting deliberately lost and re-found, and enjoying the Catskill Mountains in general. There’s still snow all over the place up there, although the roads were perfectly clear.

We picked up Daughter and, naturally, the first place we popped in was the AT&T Store in town to see what could be done with the phone. With any luck it’d be something easy to fix. Turns out it wasn’t, but they were able to classify the problem as a “Warranty Return”, so it didn’t count against the phone’s insurance. She had to get a replacement phone sent to her, so she’d still be without a phone for another week. Being a Dad, I gave her my phone and suggested that it’d probably last the week if she shut it off at night. “How do I get it back to you?” she asked. “Go to the Post Office, buy a padded envelope and mail it to me,” was my out-of-left-field suggestion.

My Daughter, the Honor Student.

Fresh Dance Program So, to the show itself, which was really the point of this post. The show is called Fresh Dance. This is the tenth year that New Paltz has presented this show, which as I understand it is not limited to Performing Arts students, although it certainly has its share. It’s a series of dances performed by several student groups, plus a couple of guest performances: one was a youth dance group from Poughkeepsie, another was a guy named General Hambrick, who has some professional cred out there in the Real World.

The student performances weren’t bad: they all worked on a more or less bare stage, with few props. The lights would go down, the curtain would open, the dancers would be onstage, the music would play, they’d do their thing, the audience would applaud, they’d take a bow, the curtain would close, the lights would come up again in between performances. Presumably this so that audience members could consult their programs to see what was up next. There was a variety of music and all of the dance had a pretty modern flavor, hence the show’s title. Some performances were really good, others I won’t pretend that I necessarily got the point. One, I thought, was missing an ending. But overall I liked the whole show. Until…

…the last dance.

Which was performed by the director.

Who is a member of the faculty.

And who chose something called “Six Romanian Dances” which he performed with his wife, who was probably in college around the same time I was. (Coincidentally, at the same school that I attended.) This? Not so much with the freshness.

In addition, once his dance was done, he came back out on the stage and did a little bit of a closing speech, commented on it being the tenth anniversary of Fresh Dance, and assorted other mumblings that said to me, “You read between the lines, this guy’s leaving the school.” Wife thought much the same thing and said so, aloud. Someone behind us noted that he’s leaving because he was denied tenure. Wife said, “Yeah, I can see why.”

So after his little speech, Professor Leavy McNoTenure said that he wanted to do one more dance with his wife as a “happy anniversary” to Fresh Dance; a piece that he’d created in 1995. So again, not so fresh.

So basically, in a few short minutes he took a celebration of the young adults in our society and their exploration of music and dance, and turned it into a self-indulgent morass that was mired in the past. It became an All About Me, Me Me-fest. I’ve railed on about this sort of thing in the past here, here and here, and while the specific circumstances were different, the overall intent, and the final effect, is the same: “Never mind those kids and the work they put into this show…Look At Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Aren’t I just so effing great for bringing this to you?”

I’ll say this, though: the students rescued it with a goodbye bouquet to the teacher and an impromptu dance that even he didn’t know was going to happen. The entire bunch came onstage and danced to “Let the Sun Shine” from Hair, and even dragged a few audience members onstage to dance with them. (This is where being way back in Row N comes in handy.) That was the thing that brought it back from the brink, that the kids were able to take the focus back away from him and bring it back on themselves, even if that wasn’t their intent.

And I say: good on you, gang.

Shop Class

Otto Meyer: [Honking car as it pulls into the Ray & Irwin Garage] Fellas. I'm glad you're here. Look, I need your help. Here's what happened. I had this blowout. I think there's a spare in the back. It may be a little flat. Take a look at it will you kid? Is there an airport anyplace around here? Look, if the spare is flat don't bother fixing it. Gimme a new tire, alright? You ain't got a new tire? Then you'll have to fix the spare. But don't look at me. Move it, will you kid? You, you could be gassing up while he's working. What is it a staring contest? Come on! [claps his hands over and over] Move! Move, will you kid? Come on!

–It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963)

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Several weeks ago—more, really. Now that I think about it, this was in late September. Anyway:

Awhile back I was on my merry way home, cruising up Perring Parkway. In the late afternoon, the right-hand lane becomes a “No Parking” zone for all those students from Morgan State University. So from 4:15 till about 4:45, the lane still has cars in it: the ones that haven’t been towed yet. They don’t fool around with the No Parking on that road, baby. So after 5:00, it’s pretty much smooth sailing in that lane, 55 MPH up to the speed limit and everything. AND, a lot of people forget that that lane is open, so it actually becomes the passing lane.

Unfortunately, because the lane is covered by cars during the day, it’s also not a well-maintained lane. So there I was, cruising up Perring Parkway (see, here’s where you came in) when I suddenly hit a pothole.

WHAM. At 50 MPH. I slowed down just in case I’d blown out a tire, but everything seemed OK for the time being.

I got home and looked at the affected wheel, and it looked fine. You know why? Because I didn’t look carefully. I had, in fact, put a nifty ding in the rim, but didn’t notice until the next day when my tire pressure sensor lit up on the dashboard. As it happened, I needed to fuel up the car, so I stopped in to the Shell Station on Harford Road, in the 8400 block.

shell_logo This is not the cheapest gas in the area, although it’s pretty competitive. I go there specifically because they still have free air. So if you’re in Parkville, you know where to go for your air: the Shell station just inside the Beltway. It was during this trip that I noticed the dented rim. I put some air in the tire, diligently using my air gauge (Bring Your Own) and thinking that this would be pretty much the end of it: I’d gotten away with the dent and the lowered pressure was a delayed reaction to the initial hit on the pothole.

Two days later, my pressure light popped on again. This was the beginning of a lengthy cycle: put air in the tire, wait two or three days, put more air in. In the meantime I asked around about whether this could be fixed, or if I had to buy another rim. Opinions were mixed on the topic. Someone pointed me to Crazy Rays, which is a chain of junkyards in the area; one of the few yards that still allows you to go in and wander the grounds, pulling the parts yourself (or you can pay extra and have them do it for you).

Finally this weekend, Wife could stand it no more. She told me to get my ass over to NTB and see what they could do for me. So on Saturday I got my ass over to NTB, slogging the car through the snow.

ntb_header_logo Despite the snow (or perhaps because of it?) the place was pretty busy, and it was awhile before they got to me. I talked with the guy behind the counter, and together we went out to the car to see what he could do. He was of the opinion that he might be able to bang it back into shape and rebalance the wheel, and we’d take it from there. He also noted that one of my windshield wipers was falling apart, and I noted that that problem had cropped up only a day earlier, in the rain. I don’t usually get someone else to do my wiper blades, but what the hell.

Of course, when he did the inventory check, there was only one type of blade available: the more expensive type. I asked the fundamental difference between the two (i.e., is it really worthwhile to spring for the high-end wiper?) and what he said rather impressed me; plus he’d had that wiper on his truck for over two years and it was still doing a great job. These are graphite-coated blades with built-in aerodynamic spoilers, and their design resists the rot that you get from a standard wiper blade. OK, sign me up. My crappy old blades had lasted almost that long, so imagine how cool it’ll be when the car is paid off and I’m still only on my second set of wiper blades! Wow! Impressive!

Once he got the car into the shop, the repair job took just about an hour and he was, in fact, able to bonk the rim back into shape, although he did suggest getting another rim before too much time had passed (he was OK with waiting till spring, though).

Total cost for the wheel repair: about $22.00.

Total cost for the wipers? $42.00 including the $4 to install them. They do a pretty good job, I’ll grant you that. But for that much money they’d better be adept at wiping my ass, too. Holy cow.

Weather or Not

Fry: This snow is beautiful. I’m glad global warming never happened.
Leela: Actually, it did. But thank God nuclear winter canceled it out.

Futurama, “Xmas Story” (12/19/99)

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Hey! It’s the first snowfall of the season!

Here’s a Fun Fact: For six of the last eight years now, we’ve had some snow on December 5th. Check it out, courtesy of the Baltimore Sun. The comments in parentheses come from the Sun’s Frank Roylance on his weather blog at the Sun’s website:

2008:  None  (but we got 0.6 inch on the 6th)

2007:  4.7 inches

2006:  Trace

2005:  1.4 inches (and another 1.9 inches on the 6th)

2004:  None (something went terribly wrong)

2003:  3.0 inches (and another 3.8 inches on the 6th)

2002:  7.4 inches (and a trace on the 6th).

and now today, where we’ve got at least an inch and counting. Break out the cocoa and whipped cream!

What? Marshmallows? Nonsense. Marshmallows are for s’mores.

I Should Have Just Looked for This Clip in the First Place

This is a clip from the Sanford and Son episode I wrote about yesterday. I was doubting the preciseness of my memory so I went looking for it. It's not for the types who get the vapors. You Have Been Warned. 

It turns out I have a pretty good memory.

Also: Hey, Ray Stevens Fans! I'm on your side! I think "The Streak" was a great, funny track! I'm just saying that I'm not sure it'd do well if it were released today, is all. It's entirely too contextual, as are all of the songs I brought up. So, peace. Everything Is Beautiful now, right? 

Discriminating Taste

Beth: Do you know what she's like? She's like a slutty version of the singing frog in that cartoon. You know, Hello my honey, hello my baby- Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Here comes Dave… Ribbit.
Lisa: So, Beth? Does this singing frog ever tell you to do things?

Newsradio, "Friends" (11/14/95)

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Boomerang  So every once in awhile, Wee One has her act together in the morning and can afford to kill a few minutes watching TV before it's time for me to take her down to school. Lately she's taken to watching Boomerang. 

For those of you not in the know, Boomerang was originally a block of programming on Cartoon Network, but split off to its own channel a few years back. Its main appeal is baby boomers; it shows the cartoons that we watched as kids (Popeye, Tom & Jerry, Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning shows) and, to a much lesser extent these days, Looney Tunes. When it comes to the MGM and Paramount cartoons, we're looking at the higher-quality, fully animated stuff. These were also the last of the Popeye cartoons where you have to listen carefully because Popeye is muttering a lot of weird things to himself for which they didn't bother animating his mouth. 

I love old cartoons, partly for the nostalgic value of watching them on TV and partly because I get the jokes on a whole new level nowadays. So while I don't usually watch them all the way through when Wee One has the TV on, I'll usually pop in as a cartoon starts to see who's directing them. 

Red hot riding hood My favorite cartoon director–and the favorite of many–is Tex Avery. He's the guy who really took cartoons to the next level, encouraging the animators to really stretch the limits of the medium and get the characters to do things that couldn't be done in real life. Avery is the guy who first animated Bugs Bunny, and he practically invented Droopy Dog. One of his most famous cartoons is Red Hot Riding Hood, during which the wolf, watching Red sing in a nightclub, overreacts to her sexuality with the hyper-bulging eyes, the extended howling, beating himself on the head and assorted other antics. (The scene in The Mask that takes place in the Coco Bongo club is a direct callback to this one.) 

I'm also fond of the work of Bob Clampett, Friz Freling, Robert McKimson and, to a lesser extent, Chuck Jones. (My big complaint with Chuck Jones is that so many of his characters look alike. You can tell a Jones cartoon almost instantly.) 

Anyway, when Wee One is watching Boomerang, I've taken to noting who directs the cartoon and deciding instantly whether I'm going to sit in for awhile. At this point, however, I find that I don't have to do that anymore: Wee One has begun just telling me who's directing and I give a quick review: "Meh", or "Ooh, he's good", and she pays appropriate attention. So I've got a ten year old kid looking at the finer aesthetics of cartoon art. 

She's not liking the Hanna-Barbera stuff so much anymore. 

Shutting Down, Sort of

Dr. John Becker: The Marathon just gets my hopes up. At first it seems like 20,000 idiots are leaving the city, but then they just make a big loop and come right back. 

Becker (1998-2004)

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For those of you who were able to see the placeholder page I had up during my self-imposed exile, this will not be a surprise. For others…well, maybe it will be. 

When I first started this bit of chaff in the wheat field they call the Internet, the original idea was to chronicle my adjustment to life in a new city. I'm not sure why, given that I'd already been here for a couple of years, but that was the idea. Looking back, I see that I moved off of that platform in a big hurry. And, like so many other people who undertake this brand of online blathering, my early posts were pretty cringe-worthy. They were bad enough that I want to go back and edit most of them. Worse yet, I found typos. TYPOS! They've been there for nearly five years! (No, I didn't fix them.)

Anyway. 

So that's what Baltimore Diary was originally meant to be about, but it morphed into something else over the nearly five years it's been around. Fortunately it's something that I can be proud of in the long run. I've got a bit of a following, I've made a few friends, and it's definitely had an impact on my life. You have no idea how much. Heh. 

But it's time for a change, and I'm hoping to put it in place in November. I won't go underground, and I won't do an extended MIA period (again). It'll be more like Whack-a-Mole, where I'll disappear from one place only to pop up in another. I've got a few ideas, and I'm working on designs, so there'll be a different name and address, and maybe a little bit of a different look, and I hope that both of my readers (heh) will follow me. The content won't be remarkably different, although there will be some changes there as well. However, that will be more of an evolutionary process, I think. 

More details as they become available.