And speaking of time flying... --Today was my last day at work! For eight weeks! Maybe more, maybe less, but no more work! Five years was long enough, time for new adventures . . .


Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like bananas. -- For some reason, I really like the idea of this flat grandfather clock. It's like applied Warhol home design.
You know that line in Ferris Bueller's Day Off when Mr. Bueller is trying to convince a client at his business lunch to boost his ad budget: "Dave, if you wanna sell, you have to spend"? I can understand that, to a point. And I can understand that when companies grow, they incur expenses to create that growth. OK, sure. But my company just got a bill from our law firm for $1.5 million dollars in fees...for one month of working on an upcoming deal! They spent $35,000 on photocopying, in a month! How is it even possible to spend over a grand per day -- that's like 200 reams of paper, just on one of the many matters they handle for us. Not to mention the entries where a partner "reviews" a document or composes an email for 15 minutes, then charges $140 for it. I am getting out of this world next week, possibly for good, and I can't wait...this is just Wrong.


"Truly, we lived in an age of giants. With giant hair. And really tight pants. Who wanted you to catch their disease." -- The inimitable Fussy continues her archaeological survey of 70's detritus from her childhood home in Denver, posted online in glorious living-time-capsule color. Today's installment -- movie listings from January 6, 1978!


I've got the Hoboken Wishbone Blues -- or more precisely, the Do We Jettison The Aging Jetta Angst, since Nat's trusty red '99 konked out in our driveway yesterday, after a delightful weekend toting us and our bikes and camping gear all over Cape Cod. Sigh...why don't they make a "Big Expenditure Magic 8-Ball" to help with decisions like this? "It Is Decidedly The Right Time to Trade It In" would be helpful right about now. In the meantime, I'm having schadenfreude fun reading through the hundreds of car break-in stories accumulated in Dooce's comments...well, OK, not schadenfreude. Is there a German word for, "It could be a whole lot worse"? Hmmm...wait, is that instant karma?

UPDATE: After crunching the numbers this way and that, we are getting a Fit. Huzzah!


LOLCats + 19th century photography + Sushiesque = teh awesom.
"The babies will be named Bailey Elizabeth, Savannah Jane, Molli Grace, Cole Robert, Blake Nickolas and Grant Williams, but Masche and his wife, Jenny, had yet to decide who gets which." -- Two sets of sextuplets were born over the weekend, in Arizona and Minnesota. Both sets of parents used follicle-stimulating drugs to enhance fertility, and when a higher order multiple pregnancy resulted they chose not to selectively terminate. First of all, congratulations to all 12 new babies and their brave parents. But while I hope they have a happy, healthy life together, I'm finding it difficult to reconcile my pro-choice stance with my immediate reaction of scorn and disbelief. If I believe in reproductive choice for all women, why does their choice seem so wrong to me? Is it the influence of religion, the use of medical resources, the financial angle, or just the thought of those names being handed out like popsicle flavors...except all those things bother me about childbirth generally. It's just writ large here. Something to ponder...
"One distasteful but completely non-lethal example would be strong aphrodisiacs, especially if the chemical also caused homosexual behavior." -- Yes, it's true. An Air Force lab in Ohio considered building a big gay bomb. As in, let's spray the enemy with pheromones until they just drop their RPG's and go at it. Wow. Next up, a cootie-injecting bayonet, and a wet willie brigade! My question is, why isn't it just a "horny bomb," a "bicurious bomb," or at the very least a "situationally gay bomb"? And why not just rain down Viagra tablets and drink pitchers on them? Sheesh.


Let a knitting project be your umbrella -- Yes, of course, just when I think I could maybe try something more complicated than a scarf, I find something on Knitty.com like this hand-knitted parasol. Dear god.


As summer blooms and vacation looms -- not to mention my forthcoming "sabbatical" from the workplace -- I've slacked way off on my reviews. This year Nat and I are trying to choose our theatrical expenditures more wisely, which means no more automatic matinees every weekend. What with ticket prices so high and quality so, let's just say, unreliable, it's working out pretty well. I'll most likely see either Knocked Up or Ocean's Thirteen this weekend in NJ with my family, but I don't know what the next movie after that will be...and I don't care! Well, OK, there's Harry Potter #5, but that's a date night for sure.

In the meantime, here's a two-fer for ya -- another Big Movie Little Movie Ticket Stub:

* Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End -- The twenty minutes or so of this rollicking, epic mess I could actually remember the next day are totally worth the price of admission. Especially if, like me, you see it at a crumbling retro theater, unchanged since you saw Ghost there in 1990, complete with muddy projection, sticky chairs, and mildewed gym sock aroma. Ahhh! Anyway, this third installment is so completely overstuffed that it makes the second one seem taut, and the first one seem classically brilliant, by comparison. Every single speaking part from the first two is shoehorned into a plot maze so overgrown that about 15 minutes in everyone, including the audience, just gives up. Luckily, that's when one of the gem sequences appears, a wacky Munchausian trip to Davy Jones' locker. That and the continuing spunkiness of Kiera Knightley are worth seeing, and every move Johnny Depp makes, of course. Some good characterizations by the bit players are dulled by the sheer number of quadruple-crosses between them. Everything else is a wash. Massive points off for awful dick jokes, general incomprehensibility, and Orlando Bloom. (C+)

* Waitress -- Another fantastic small movie! It's stuff like this that gives me hope for American culture. Of course, the terrible irony here is that the film's writer/director/co-star, Adrienne Shelley, was killed just before the movie made it to Sundance...sigh, hope snuffed. At least the movie stands on its own -- a delightful study of ambivalence and motherhood, in that order. Shelley serves up some deep insights in the guise of lightly fried Southern drollery, centered on a trio of waitresses at a pie diner (yes, they're real, I've been to one and it's awesome). Keri Russell breaks through as the prickly, put-upon, pregnant Jenna, saddled with a creep husband and a rash affair with her hunky new obstetrician. Nathan Fillion as said hunk is dorkily endearing, but is outshone by none other than Andy Griffith, letting his inner codger show. Not quite as funny as Little Miss Sunshine, but warmer, just as poignant, and way less self-consciously indie. Extra points for gastronomically alluring closeups of pie. See it! (A)

And another thing I've neglected here at TAI is recording all my non-movie ticket stubs. Here's a roundup of 2007 thus far...turns out I'm secretly a culture maven:

* Boston Symphony Orchestra -- Nat and I subscribed and saw 5 wonderful shows, including the US premiere of an Asteroid for Orchestra, wicked cool. (A+)
* Grizzly Bear @ the MFA -- Bedheaded hipsters, unite! Rainy night of experimental pop with Mandy & George, who along with us made up nearly all the over-30's in the room. (A)
* Orson's Shadow @ New Rep -- Brilliant concept executed reasonably well in Watertown: aging lions Orson Welles and Laurence Olivier stagger around Ionesco's Rhinoceros. (B-)
* What Would Jesus Buy? @ SXSW -- OK, this one is a movie, the Supersize Me of 2007. (A+)
* Well @ Huntington Theater Co. -- A comically deconstructed one-woman show on wellness, mothers and daughters, and social neuroses, with Kim. (A)
* Fat Pig @ SpeakEasy Stage -- An exercise in cruelty from Neil LaBute, for whom people seem not to ever mature past Lord of the Flies age. (B+)
* Surviving The Nian @ The Theater Offensive -- A funky, ambitious, unfinished, family drama musical about culture shock, coming out, and all that good stuff, and a Jonathan Larson Foundation grant winner. (A-)
* Ben Gibbard @ The Somerville Theater -- Another hipster coven! Excellent acoustic set of thinky pop from Gibbard's various projects, unfortunately we sat in the volcanically overheated balcony. Included the best rendition of "All Apologies" ever, including the original, and I always hated that song. (A)
* No Brawl @ Symphony Hall -- Sigh. Through a series of miscommunications, Nat and I showed up 85 minutes late for opening night of the Boston Pops, featuring our beloved Ben Folds and the much-discussed fracas in the rafters. Grrrr. Oh well, we get a mulligan in a few weeks for Oscar & Tony night... (F)
* Parade @ Speakeasy Stage -- A stirring and surprisingly coherent musical exploration of race, religion, capitalism, crime, and marriage in 1900's Atlanta, based on a real case. (A-)
* Present Laughter @ Huntington Theater Co. -- Dizzy, dazzling comedy the way they don't make 'em anymore, starring Victor Garber as Noel Coward's onstage persona. (A+)
* The Light In The Piazza @ The Colonial Theater -- Superbly scored and romantic to the core, yet uniquely weird in an operatic way. The touring company came to town and thanks to Miss Laura we got a backstage view!

Whew -- I need a nap.


I’ve had children come into my classroom, and they’ve never even lost at Candy Land.” -- So says one kindergarten teacher of her rapidly "graying" class -- that is, where kids are "redshirted" (or as we used to say, kept back) by their parents for another K year so they are older, taller, and more ready (for standardized testing, of course). Blech. My recent experience grading some similarly cushioned college students with the first B's of their lives was as just as unpleasant, I imagine, as that first devastating Candyland blowout.


"Ron + Hermione: Isn't It Obvious?" -- That was emblazoned on a t-shirt at the Phoenix Rising Harry Potter Convention in New Orleans last week, and Salon's Rebecca Traister gives an insider's view of the serious fans at play. As the Summer of Harry kicks off today (only fortyish days left!) I think we could all use a good relaxing charm...accio sangria!
"The capital of Red Sox Nation, where schadenfreude is flowing like World Series champagne." -- That's Boston this weekend, gang, as the limping Yankees come to Fenway for a series that may not include the usual bench-clearing brawl, but guarantees creative heckling. Play ball!