Saturday, October 27, 2012

Saturday Grab Bag Come Again?

On Wednesday of this week we had a fire drill at work and had to evacuate the building. Later in the afternoon, when everyone was back inside, I overheard my clueless, solipsistic co-worker (who really needs a catchier nickname if I'm going to keep telling stories about her on the blog) as she was talking to another colleague of ours, and I learned more than I wanted to know about the incredibly circumscribed limits of her thinking. Apparently, in her mind, there's some kind of valid comparison between the hardship of walking down eleven floors' worth of stairs during a fire drill and what people went through in the World Trade Center on 9/11. Because (she went on to say) the WTC was, what, 30 floors? I swear I am not making a word of this up.

(The Twin Towers were 110 stories each, in case you were wondering. Not everybody needs to have that bit of trivia memorized to function in society, I realize, but I would expect the average person to make an educated guess of "around a hundred" as opposed to thinking along the lines of "well more than fifty floors and it'd stretch into outer space!" Oy.)


With baseball season over and my wife no longer working evenings, we've been sampling a lot more primetime TV. One night we somehow got sucked into watching Guys With Kids, which I had heard was resolutely terrible. But Erin Hayes (aka Lola from Children's Hospital) is on it as the ex-wife of one of the titular guys. Her role is fairly thankless, as she's the ex said guy is supposed to be better off without, because she's a frigid and pretentious shrew, har har har. The episode we caught was the Halloween one, and by the end of it everybody was in costume. Hayes is carrying her toddler son, who is in a cute Frankenstein's Monster get-up, while she looks like she's dressed for a Ren Faire in her velvet gown. One of the other characters asks Hayes what she's supposed to be (other than "fell asleep and got upholstered" which kind of made me chuckle) and I said to my wife, "Is she Mary Shelley?" and then of course Hayes says (in an aggrieved pretentious way) "Hello? I'm Mary Shelley!" This of course is supposed to be a punchline, of the "Look at the clueless nerd!" variety but my immediate reaction was, as parent-child costume combos go, Mary Shelley and the Monster is fricking awesome. Not an endorsement of the show, mind you, which is in fact pretty much as terrible as I had heard. But I'll give it up for the English major geek-out moment.


Just a quick addendum to my Thursday post about the developing interests and attitudes of my offspring: the little guy has for a while now owned a book put out by National Geographic called the Little Kids First Big Book of Why, which has a vast array of micro-chapters answering common (or at least interesting) questions that kids might have, broken up by scientific field like physics (how far away are the stars?) and biology (why can't dogs talk?) and anatomy/health (why do I have to sleep every night?) The little guy recently re-discovered this book and is now utterly fascinated by it. That's a cool thing in and of itself, but even better was the other night when he left the book on the couch and our back-up dog wound up sprawled across it while napping. The little guy came upon that scene and grabbed his book, yelling at the dog, "Hey! I'm using that TO LEARN!" Right on, little proto-scholar of mine. Right on.

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