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March 20, 2007

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cam c.

Congrats on the ski getaway; I managed to sneak in a day at Whistler last month under the guise of a it being a work-related networking event. It was amazing but I kept wishing my wife and daughter could have come along! (Which leads to the question "What do you do with the kid when you're on the mountain?" Trade places with your wife or both take off and use hotel daycare? (I've been scheming to either go up to the mountains when my non-skiing parents are out here and have them watch the little monkey, or wait until she's 3 and start teaching her to ski with us.)

elsu

Hate to sound trendy, but I'm liking Labyrinth by Kate Mosse right now. It's kind of a cross between Timeline and The DaVinci Code--but from a woman's perspective, if that makes any sense. I just PLODDED through the first ten chapters, but it got terribly good from there. Caveat: my mom just finished it and said she was disappointed by the ending, but she wouldn't/couldn't tell me why.

Darren a/k/a Clare's Dad

I think you were more likely dealing with rude motherfuckers than racist assholes. People have walked right past me when I've held doors too. Good for you for getting in their face about it.

elsu

Oh, and I'm awfully jealous of the Metrofam skiing expedition. My mom just left today...she'd come out to South Texas to enjoy my sun for a week, but normally I visit her and enjoy her snow. I miss my Alta this year.

KC

I hope it was one of those wooden chopsticks with splinters.

I'm enjoying "Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design". It's fucking killing me.

(This was an uncharacteristically evil comment) Welcome Back!

Matthew

My kids think all letters are "eeeeeee".

Bri does like to sing her "abcd's" - yep, she adds the "d" when we name the song. She's brilliant like that.

And do I really need to know the line of presidential succession? I mean, if it ever comes to that, I'm pretty sure it's written down somewhere and I seriously doubt anyone would think to ask me.

But you go dude.

kmkat

If you like a little humor with your lit, try The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly. Or A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore. Or if you really, realy want to read outside the box, try my favorite book of all time, Winterdance: the Fine Magic of Running the Iditarod by Gary Paulsen. Hilarious, spiritual, and totally entertaining, especially for a Manhattanite who just got back from the snowy mountains.

margalit

Having attended 4 years of university in Boulder CO, my face often looked like your face must look. I wear glasses anyways, and I have such pale skin that I burn in seconds. Hence the rocky racoon look in reverse much of the year. But isn't Colorado just the most spectacular place? Beautiful and everyone looks so frigging healthy!

But you also discovered the downside of CO. Not much of a diverse population other than native americans and hispanics. Heck being Jewish there was bizarre. That is the only place where someone actually wanted to feel my horns. Sigh. So you got the treatment. I'm not shocked but angered that it hasn't changed yet.

As for road trip grilling by overanxious parents. Oh yeah, been there done that. Know the Capitals of everything. Know the rivers of everywhere. Know the world leaders. Know how to spell the world capitals. You name it, we got quizzed on it. How else do I know that the capital of Burkina Faso is ouagadougou? (Upper Volta in the old days)
Seems Jewish parents are just as insane as Korean parents when it comes to excelling in trivia. But man, I'm good at Jeopardy!

Just finished A Roomful of Mirrors, a biography of Jimi Hendrix, because I'm such a loser that I buy these books for my kids and then read them secretly on the side! It was good.

I'm reading some Joy Picoult now with the Girl. Not the greatest fiction, but my kid likes the stories which are mostly based on teen themes.

Glad you're back with no broken limbs.

Ali

"The Asian Mystique" by Sheridan Prasso

I heard about it on AngryAsianMan.com over a year and a half ago. It's also the same site that I found your blog.

ray lee

I seriously didn't learn the alphabet till kindergarden, which was when I was 5. I didn't have trouble learning it either and it didn't take long for me to start reading and then eventually reading past my grade level. You shouldn't worry about your daughter not being able to read yet. I was enrolled in nursery school and day-care since I was like 2 and one thing I did learn was social interaction. My sister on the other hand didn't go into that and she has no social skills.

Your daughter seems to be really smart since she can repeat what you say and even mimic you. That says a lot about her ability to learn. You have the rest of her life to pressure her with schoolwork. This is not the time to do it. Goodluck!

-ray leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

metro mama

I just finished Mean Boy by Lynn Coady. It was very funny. I will review at my place soon.

William

Sounds like you had a good. Time. I am glad to see you back.

Shivangi

Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance makes for a good read.

RA

Welcome back, MD! I have "Special Topics in Calamity Physics" on my to-find book list and it's nice to have a second recommendation for a book still to be read. The best book I've read recently is "Interpreter of Maladies" by Jhumpa Lahiri and I'm currently in the middle of "Life of Pi", which is proving to have quite the unbelievable plotline, but is nonetheless intriguing. Next up for me is "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim" by Davis Sedaris, so I have high hopes for that.

Holmes

Sounds like a great trip. I haven't been skiing or snowboarding in a while, but I do remember noticing a lot of rudeness when I went. Perhaps it's because a lot of those people are used to being waited on. Oh, and snowboarding instructors are all high, all the time. All of them.

Henry

Didn't EVERY Korean parent do the same thing? Our father made my sisters and me do extracurricular homework every single night. God, we had some major household blowouts over that issue. I guess, in the end, it wasn't such a bad idea as we all ended up getting academic scholarships for college. As much as I hated it, I'll probably end up doing the same thing with my kids.

Emily S.

I'm currently reading (and loving) "Suite Française" by Irene Nemirovsky. I think you'd like it.

James

I think those people not saying "thank you" were racist jerks. Although I love Colorado, I've always noticed this weird undercurrent of racism. It's not overt. It's more the kind of racism that comes from living only among white people and having no interaction with any minorities. It's a very segregated state.

I'm sure if you were white, they would have said "thank you."

CL

I will recommend The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai, because it's well written and it got my mind off of the disturbing, sociopathic, backstabbing, mind fucking greatness that was Special Topics in Calamity Physics.

Ana Gabriel

White maids in the U.S.? I don't think I've EVER seen that before in my entire life. Must have been a fancy place!

Waya

I'm glad you guys had a nice time, I'm extremely jealous btw since we won't be seeing any type of resorts for a while, like 3 years.

As for those rude people...they were plain racists, they probably thought you were the door man or the help. I'm surprised they didn't ask you where the nearest Chinese restaurant was.

Ali

People are just rude. I'm a 25-year old nanny, and every time I pick one of the kids up from school, some parent inevitably behaves as though I existed solely to hold the door for their overloaded $350 stroller and whining brood clad in clothes worth more than the entire contents of my apartment...not a thank you, not a nod. Drives me crazy! It's as bad as when you're out driving, let someone out in front of you, and they don't wave. Isn't it me who's supposed to be the card carrying member of the f-you generation? Yeesh. Love your blog by the way! I've been reading for over a year.

BookGirl

I'm half way through Joshua Ferris' And Then We Came to the End. It's not as fantastic as I was expecting, but it's definitely good -- well-written and amusing. It's written in first person plural, which makes it interesting.

I also recently finished The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes. Simply fantastic if you're in the mood for some non-fiction.

Seth

I went skiing a few weeks ago up in Utah. Haven't hit the slopes that hard since I was much younger. Knees and back are now totally shot. I feel like the walking wounded.

Misery loves company, MD!

Fiona

Good on you for getting in their faces! People have no manners anymore... it's no wonder the next generation is going down the crapper.

Dunno if you've read it but how about Richard Ford's The Sportswriter? He won the Pulitzer for the one after it..

Mikeymike

In defense, of my lovely home state. There are other minorities in Colorado. We're just in neighborhoods many psuedo-liberal Coloradans tend not to go to.

Boulder, home of my alma mater, whom I love, and generously donated my time and body to as an athlete there, is pretty much like Marin County. White, liberal and well off.

I don't think you encountered Coloradans when you held the door open for the rude people. You probably ran into other out of staters. Its no secret to the native Coloradans and long time residents that all out of staters are somewhat evil.

Raccoon face is no biggie. It's pretty normal if you ask me.

whit

If it makes you feel better, I hold doors open for people all the time and many of them don't say a word. I usually yell, "you're welcome" as I follow them through it.

Have you read The Ha-Ha by Dave King? It's a great read.

Kata É.

Books to read:
Magda Szabo: The door
Sandor Marai: Embers and/or The rebels.
You have a great site!!

Plain Jane Mom

Halfway through "Special Topics..." -- hang on to your seat for the second half/ending. That's all I'm saying about that!

And if you want your kid to learn the alphabet in a hurry, get some of those Leap Frog DVDs. It blew my mind how quickly my kids knew the sounds of all the letters.

Jen

Yeah, I am voting for rude. Sure there are plenty of racists out there, but I think the rude people far outweigh them. Whenever I make eye contact with someone, I smile. Right? It is the polite thing to do. Does anyone EVER smile back? NOPE! Not even a nod! AND, my family and I were in Whistler two weekends ago and some barista chick floated a balled up piece of plastic in my latte under my foam! Thank the lord I didn't immediately put a top on it because it was FLAMING HOT! Really? What in the fuck did I do except order a latte with my two kids in tow? I could go on about this one for hours. Really, ask my husband! In general, I think most people at ski resorts are rude! The first words I taught my kids were "please" and "thank you." I figure that is all they need! Hey kids, you're on your own from now on!!!

yes, I second the Leap Frog letter factory.

Mama Nabi

Ah. So the whole "holding the door open for those white people who don't thank you" IS a rare thing elsewhere. It happens to me on a daily basis here in Minnesota... but then... yeah.
Aloe, aloe, aloe. Of course, the racoon look could set a trend.
Hell, if I'm on a plane and I see you, I'm grabbing some drink tickets from you to prepare for LN's tantrum OR I may just go halfsies on the drink tickets OR maybe you can take LN off my hands since you're already an expert in flying with a toddler. :-)
Well, obviously since 1) she's yours and BossLady's and 2) she seems to be well-accomplished in knowing how to torture daddy, I don't think Peanut has anything to worry about in the intellectual department.
Ben-Gay... sounds sexy but doesn't (usually) smell sexy...

Katy

Anything Christopther Moore - but particulary "Lamb"

Woman with Kids

There's a woman at the boys' school who never says thank you. It's a challenge to me know, to hold the door for her, wait for her to say it, know she's not going to say it, and then passively-aggressively say, "You're WELCOME!"

Issa

Shit Metro! It seems like we always miss each other by a week with these ski trips. We're literally going to be there all of next week. On the non-thanking people, I think people in general have their foot so far up their ass that they rarely notice anything. I see it here all the time. Hell, Nick held the door for 10 different people at the Cheesecake Factory the other night and the only couple who said thank you were around 70 years old. It's sad really, but manners are taught to so few people anymore.

Also, I think it's great that you're trying to teach Peanut her letters at 2 1/2...and good luck with that one. Nata know's hers at this point (thank you Leap Frog) but to piss her sister off she says the letter P at least 6 times while singing her ABC's. P is for Poop, so of course it is the most important letter.

Anyway, sounds like you guys had a blast. Maybe one of these years we'll be there at the same time.

Issa

Oh and just so you know you weren't alone, my parents made us do homework that they came up with all summer. Even on vacation, no matter when we were. In Hawii at 10, still had homework. Disneyworld at 12, yup, still did homework. Stupid asses. :)

Emily

"fucking raccoon...burn victim clown." You can not make such statements with out photographic evidence buddy. Come on post one!
Sorry no book recs for now, I am in a rut.

X

Hmm..I don't want to automatically assume racism but I'm African-American and I've spent a lot of time in Colorado. Wasn't the friendliest place to be a minority.

Tyro

MD:
Dude, your blog is hilarious. The comment about the kid tripping up and letting one slip was priceless.

With re: to getting out of the city, try http://www.amazon.com/Last-Child-Woods-Children-Nature-Deficit/dp/1565123913

CO is super WASP but look at their neighbor Utah... similar demographic but the absolute NICEST. Must be a mormon thang.

JJ Daddy Baby Momma

Sounds like you had a great time! The one thing I miss about living south of the Mason-Dixon line is the lack of slopes within a 1 hour drive. How's the Peanut do on the bunny slope? Pictures?

Anne Glamore

Once again we're on the same page reading, MD. Loved Alternadad. Will have a book review soon. Glad the skiing was fun. We are loving Lisbon and ate barnacles tonight and feel quite adventurous!

Mitch McDad

Dude. One of the reasons we want to get the hell out of Dencer is because it's too fucking white. And we're white. I'm from NY & NJ and lived in LA for 6 years and I don't want my kids growing up in such a weird bubble of whiteness.

I joke with one of my best friends in LA (a Korean with the surname, Kim -- weird huh?) that she can't come visit us because we already have an Asian family in the area and we're over our quota.

I'm pretty sure the ski-folk weren't being racist though, just rude and obnoxious in a my-shit-doesn't-stink resort way. We ran into a bunch of that crap this year. Especially in Aspen.

Glad you had good skiing.

~Mitch

AlieMalie

Good Omens by Terri Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. You will laugh your freaking ass off. Read it over my most recent vacation.

Crys

i second anything by Gaiman. he's fab.

navi

your letter grilling reminds me of something I did with my daughter at that age... She was unendingly asking me to draw circles and squares, etc etc... so I'd do things like draw a trapezoid... and wouldn't draw anything else until she said trapezoid. then I'd do a parallellogram.

Rachel E.

You put me to literary shame. I usually stick with commercially viable authors such as James Patterson and Jodi Picoult. Nineteen Seconds is actually pretty damn good.
I'm as pale as they come and only sunburn. But for some reason my eyelids and the area under my eyes don't color at all so I earned the nickname Racoon Rachel when I was a kid. It's not pretty.

landismom

The best things I've read (by far) this year were two YA novels by Isabel Allende--City of Beasts and Kingdom of the Golden Dragon.

Sounds like a great trip, and I'm curious too--did the Peanut ski?

Rachel aka Weigook Saram

I liked Special Topics. I read it really fast, because I was dying to know what happened next. Otherwise, the best book I've read lately was Water for Elephants. Also, The Brambles by Eliza Minot.

Velma

Ooooh, goody - "Special Topics" is up soon for my book club! Just finished the new Robert Crais ("The Watchman" - eh) and am into "No Good Deed" by Laura Lippman.

As far as extracurricular parental tutoring, I recommend getting the Peanut a genius cousin or something. My sister's kid is in the "uber-gifted" kindergarden class at the "gifted and talented" magnet school in Manhattan, and so nothing my kids ever do will measure up.

Takes a lot of the pressure off, you know? Especially when I spend most of my time saying things like, "We wear underwear in this house," or "Are rocks food? Then they don't belong in our mouth, do they?"

IFLYG

Sounds like a great trip, dude! We just flew to Sydney & back, and Yoyo was a complete angel both trips - to my utter amazement, and for the first time ever...

Those people were jerks - not necessarily racist. I wish more people could just be nice. Several of the help here at our house are Chinese, or Korean, or Vietnamese or something - and we treat 'em just like regular people.

Recently finished "The God Delusion"; interesting ideas, but I'm definitely going to hell for reading it. "Special Topics" is on the to-read-soon list.

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