Saturday, November 26, 2005

T Day holiday continued

This is probably the nicest snow we've had up here for Thanksgiving since we've started coming up. Just cold enough for it to stick around, and lots of it: maybe 8 inches by now. Yesterday afternoon it fell for several hours straight. It was the kind of snowfall you get when there is little wind--it's quiet and the snow is white against the gray clouds that dropped it and in the windless silence the flakes simply find their way to the ground, falling around tree trunks to land on spilled branches or to stack themselves on the railings where we place towels to dry in the summer.

C and I headed to Wildwood for a ski first thing and we were the first tracks out there. I speculated that we were the first people to ski the trail this season, and that's probably correct. The snow was a little sticky, and the going was tough having no groomed slots to slide in, but it was about the prettiest I've ever seen it out there. I loved blazing our own way through trees that were just heavy with the prior 24 hours of snow resting on their every needle. The snow stuck to our skis and made us stop once or twice to clean them and with about 2 miles to go, C broke one of her ski poles whacking it on her ski. The bamboo thing broke right in half. Who ever heard of a bamboo pole in 2005, anyway? That thing must have been 25 years old. She picked up a stick and broke it to the right length and used that the rest of the way.

June has been up and down up here. She loves her Papaw so much that she can get tunnel vision and be a little nasty to everyone else in the house. She can turn her tone of voice so quickly, I'm beginning to sense she's a manipulator. A sweet one, but she knows how to get what she wants.

Thanksgiving 05

Second year in a row we drove up in a snowstorm. Last year, we left late and got snowed off in Angola or wherever that was; this year I took a half day off and we left by 2:00. The snow was kind of bad, sometimes getting us down to 40 mph, but in other places there was just wet pavement where they salt trucks had dropped their loads. Saw several cars off the road.

The worst factor was that Birk has entered the age where he hates being in the car seat for that long. We stopped probably four times all told, and at the end of the day it was an 8 hour trip. My ass was killing me by the end.

At one stop, I carried Birk into the play place at a BK and this one father almost immediately starts talking to me about . . I forget what, but he was just incredibly friendly and I almost immediately deduced that he was at least from the UP and maybe from Canada. UP was right. We chatted for a little but C talked to him even more b/c I was out buying food and stuff. As they leave, the guy turns to me and says "hey, if you're ever in Grand Maris, look us up. We could go fishing.” Later, C fills me in that he is one of the only commercial fisherman in the UP and has a fishing boat there in GM. What a life that must be. His three kids (“Jenna Ray” was one daughter whose name he kept calling over and over) and he and his wife certainly seemed like happy folk. I wonder if we seem happy to other people in fast food places. I wonder if I care.

All night long the wind blew hard against the side of the lake house. C and I are on my folks’ side and it’s pretty with huge waves pushing up against the shore. It was windy most of the day today, in fact. It seems like the winter thinks of a different way to make the lake freeze over every year. This year, there are a lot of ice-globe like things floating in the water where the waves are pushing them into a slushy shore. Maybe they’re solid ice, I can’t tell, but they’re round as can be. You want to go collect them.

A pair of loons fished the shore right outside our house for most of the day, too. Most of the time they were no more than 5-10 feet from our shoreline, in fact. Beautiful to see. I want to pet them.

June is so into Papaw that it gets annoying at times. I can’t blame Dad, of course. June gets so into him, though, that she gets rude to Birk and won’t let anyone else around them. It must get tiring for Dad, too. It’s extremely cute to see them play together, though. I should just be happy she loves him so much. I got her to play with me for a little while today so that Dad could nap some. I lucked out and got her to play a game of “snuggle tent” in which we hid under the covers on her bed and couldn’t leave because a bear would get us. She would look out of the covers and say “there’s no bear” and I would have to say urgently “here he comes!” and she’d get back under. Eventually, she went downstairs to see mommy and stayed there in her bed to nap for over two hours, according to C. It felt like about that long, so I believe her.

Dinner was great and traditional. Mom had a new interesting gravy that had some zing. I had a glass or two of a $4.99 piesporter. It wasn’t that bad, I don’t think. I helped clean up, even. We talked about . . . I can’t remember what we talked about, to be honest. We’ve all just kind of been in the moment up here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

June meets the media

June has discovered commercials. Because we don't have cable, June grew up watching PBS cartoons for the most part, and her most common reaction to what commercial television she did see has always been to get mad when her show would disappear for a commercial break. "I don't want this!" she would yell, thinking the channel had been changed by someone with an invisible remote control, when the commerial cut in. Things have changed now.

A recent custom has been for June to climb in our bed on Saturday and Sunday mornings and watch a little tv while C and I sleep in. On Saturday, the only channel we have that shows kid friendly stuff is CBS. Now she understands how commercials work. Every break she saw this last weekend, she would watch the ad, and then say "I wish I had a talking pony" if the ad was about a talking pony, or "I wish I had a talking kitchen" if the ad was about a talking kitchen. It was uncanny. The ad people know their audience. "But you do have a talking kitchen," we said. "It even talks in French, Spanish and English." I can't remember her response to that, but I remember that we hadn't changed her position.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Sarah Silverman

I haven't written much here at all lately . . . I guess my teaching blog is getting the most action because it's on my mind a lot these days. The comic sarah silverman has a new movie or something out and I've always been curious to hear what her comedy is about, but from what I've seen recently, with the promo from the new movie, she's little more than a cute shock jock. It's like your gender and ethnicity can be used to comic advantage in this world; you're allowed to make jokes that you couldn't if you're a white guy. Not that I'm complaining, I guess; it's just that Silverman, I thought, would be more of an original mind, and I'm disappointed.

She did have one good joke I just saw her deliver in an online segment: When God gives you AIDS, make lemonAIDS. It made me laugh, though it's very, very wrong, of course.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Feel more

So now I have spent the past day on the Animal Collective forum--I'd never have guessed that there are that many people out there in the world who could be that into a band that is that messed up. Lots of great shows being traded, too, it sounds like, but I wonder how much of it is just people who collect shows pathologically. Back when I was into live stuff and collecting tapes, that's what I was like, at least. People are even downloading video of AC shows on this forum. Unreal. Maybe I'm just a little naive about just how much stuff can be up/downloaded out there. It's a different world from when I was a kid in Marshall, Michigan, where all the kids liked Ozzy Osbourne and Iron Maiden because that's what the record store had in stock. We didn't know there was any other way, or other music out there until Mitch and I met Mr. Unruh in 7th grade science and he let us take his Who records home. I tape recorded every one by holding this tiny plastic microphone up to the speakers!