AND SO IT BEGINS...
Recently my 3.5-year-old daughter has gotten into the habit of rolling her eyes at me and sighing. Are you freaking kidding me? It starts that early? I thought I had at least another 5 years.
Oh well...at least she doesn't give me the hand and say "whatevah!"
TV: TOOL OF THE DEVIL OR MAGICAL PARENTING MACHINE?
Am I a bad parent because I'm trying to teach my daughter how to operate the remote controls for the TV so I can get a few extra hours of sleep on the weekends? It's frustrating as hell. I don't understand why she can't comprehend the concept of powering up the plasma with the black remote, turning on the cable and 5.1 surround sound system with the silver remote, and then switching on the Tivo with the white remote. Jesus Christ! How hard can it be? Even my parents can do it!
CHASING IMMORTALITY AND NORMAL-COLORED PEE
I recently read an interview in Wired magazine with Raymond Kurzweil, the brilliant scientist and pioneer in the fields of health, artificial intelligence, the technological singularity, and futurism. Apparently, he has been working with several of the world's leading longevity physicians and is on an advanced nutritional regimen that involves taking 180 to 210 vitamins and mineral supplements a day.
Hell, I figured this couldn't hurt so I started trying a modified version. I started taking some advanced multivitamins, niacin, Coenzyme Q10, and CLA.
I stopped after one week because my pee looked like nuclear waste from Chernobyl. It was radioactive yellow. I've never seen anything like it in my entire life. It also smelled like the urine of a Frenchman who had been subsisting solely on a diet of asparagus, Gorgonzola cheese, and andouillette.
Too much information? Sorry, my friends. Let's move on.
THREE (MORE) PHRASES I NEVER THOUGHT WOULD COME OUT OF MY MOUTH
(1) "For the last time, I do NOT want to look at your poop."
(2) "Please stop shoving edamame up your nose."
(3) "I really don't like it when you wake me up by licking my entire face."
READING IS FUNDAMENTAL
Been on a bit of a reading tear over the past two weeks. And because so many readers often e-mail me and ask what I'm reading, I thought I'd do another set of short book reviews.
Lush Life: A Novel (Richard Price): It's only April but this has to be on the short list for one of the best American books of the year. Presently, there is no better writer chronicling urban life in this country. His dialog and attention to detail are masterful.
His Illegal Self (Peter Carey): I've always been amazed by Carey's versatility. His ability to master so many different genres, his brilliant sense of social context, and poetic mastery of the English language make him one of our greatest modern authors. However, I think I must be the only person on the planet who didn't like this book. I just didn't "get" it.
The Player of Games (Iain M. Banks): I used to read a lot of science fiction when I was younger. Mostly stuff like Asimov or Bradbury. I hadn't really read any in over 20 years. A friend sent me this and I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I didn't know people whose work focused on science fiction could also be such talented literary writers.
Bangok 8 (John Burdett): Don't believe the hype. I give this book the finger. This so-called exotic thriller romanticizes Thailand in a patently absurd and shallow manner. You'll feel no human connection to any of the chapters and the plot lines take forever to develop. If you're interested in this genre, check out Colin Cotterill's series of mysteries set in Laos. Much better written.
Also, I'm pleased to announce that two friends of mine have released books this past week. Rebecca Woolf's "Rockabye: From Wild to Child" chronicles her entry into motherhood and Pamela Paul's "Parenting, Inc." breaks down the business of parenting. I've received advance copies of both and am still reading them. They're both fantastic reads. Go check them out!
PARENTING JOKE OF THE DAY
One night a wife found her husband standing over their newborn baby's crib. Silently she watched him. As he stood looking down at the sleeping infant, she saw on his face a mixture of emotions: disbelief, doubt, delight, amazement, enchantment, skepticism.
Touched by this unusual display and the deep emotions it aroused, with eyes glistening she gently slipped her arms around her husband.
"A penny for your thoughts," she whispered in his ear.
"It's fucking amazing!" he replied. "I just can't see how anybody can make a crib like that for only $46.50!"
This joke is dedicated to my friend Greg at DaddyTypes, who has taught me that there are more people than I ever would have imagined who can afford to spend $3,000 on a crib!
LIFE IMITATING ART
My daughter and I spend a lot of time together so it's only natural that she's picked up some of my colloquialisms and expressions. However, she's at that age where she will instinctively pick up any adult phrase and start employing it immediately with her peers. I had no idea how far things had gone until I went to visit her at daycare the other day.
As we all sat in a circle listening to the teacher quietly read us a story, one of the Peanut's classmates let out an audible fart. Immediately, my tiny little daughter stood up and yelled, "Hey, who stepped on a duck?" Her comedic timing was impeccable.
I've never been so mortified and proud at the same time.
WHY DO I FEEL LIKE I'M MISSING SOMETHING HERE?
Asked for a reaction to the news that he'd been endorsed by reality-soap bad girl Heidi Montag of "The Hills," John McCain told Time magazine: "I’m honored to have Heidi’s support and I want to assure her that I never miss an episode of 'The Hills,' especially since the new season started."
THE TERRORISTS HAVE WON!!!
Have you seen this mind-boggling article in Philadelphia magazine? Over the course of the piece, we learn about:
1. An eight-year-old receiving a bikini wax.
2. A ten-year-old getting microdermabrasion.
3. Numerous children under ten getting highlights.
4. Nine-year-olds getting professional makeup lessons from Vogue photo-shooting makeup artists.
5. Birthday parties where all the little girls get a full day's worth of beauty treatments.
Apparently today's girls are spending much of their time looking in the mirror. They have a new obsession — a self-obsession — and it's being aided and abetted by their mothers. What the hell is wrong with these mothers? Why can't they just let their kids be kids? Shouldn't we call Protective Services on them?
This disturbing beauty obsession among young girls has apparently gotten to the point that there is a chain of full-service spas/salons targeting young girls scheduled to launch soon.
This makes me gasp, cringe, cry, throw up, and want to send my daughter off to a convent. With all that's going on in the world around us, it's hearing things like this that make me lose my faith in humanity.
Oy vey, someone get me a freaking cocktail.