The Texture Of Things

My First Blog Post About Harry Potter (with Spoilers!*)

August 1st, 2007

*Spoilers are NOT from any Harry Potter book or movie. I promise. Please – don’t go! Truly! I wouldn’t lie about something like that.

Recently, I was minding my own business, checking in on some blogs I enjoy, when I stumbled on a link to a video on YouTube. Nothing shocking there. These sorts of links litter teh internets. Much of the time I don’t click said links, but this post was so compelling, I had to click it. I had to know. What was The Mysterious Ticking Noise?**

All right. Let me just cut to the chase. This video, if you have not seen it, has wedged itself into my brain, and I feel the sadistic need to pass it on to you, my lovelies. Here’s why: my hypothesis is that it’s just like in The Ring – in order for me to escape the horrible fate that awaits me after having seen the video, I must get someone else to watch it.***

Please, internet friends. Go watch it and save my soul.

You know, if I’m right about the Ring connection, you might ought to organize and maybe take numbers and watch it sequentially instead of all y’all at once. I’m just sayin’.

In the interest of full disclosure, the lovely Anne, author of the compelling post, had this to say about the video:
“That song is like Herpes. Once you get it, you never get rid of it.”

Now if that didn’t compel you to go watch it, nothing will.

**Connection to Harry Potter will become clear upon viewing video.

***Aaaaaarggghh! Spoiler!!!

Dear MTV(2)

July 7th, 2007

Listen. I know you’re a bunch of over-caffeinated, self-indulged punks over there in programming and show development, so I’ll keep this as straight-forward as I think your miniature attention spans can handle:

I am old.
Stop inching Headbangers Ball later and later.
I am old.
I want to watch it.
I have some disposable income.
If your advertisers were worth my while and/or would get a clue, I could support them with my disposable income.
But I am old.
I can’t stay up until midnight waiting for a show to start.
Eleven is doable, but ten was better.
No, I don’t have Tivo.
I am old, remember?
Please put it back.
Or make a new channel to put it on.
You know, one that shows actual videos 24/7.
Like in the good ol’ days.
Do you remember those? You don’t? Oh, right, you’re twelve.
Should you be working so many hours as a minor?
Does your mom know you’re working for MTV?
Whatever.
Just put my show back on at ten.

Sincerely,
amy.

P.S. And stop playing all that European garbage. Yes, that includes that one Greek band with that annoying uber-polished, magazine-cover singer. You know the one.

Reasons I Hate Dora the Explorer

April 9th, 2007

1. Dora is always screaming, even when she’s just talking. Sure, it’s great the tot is going to learn to count to eight in Spanish today, but only at 89 decibels.

2. Dora’s Map is always trying to kill them. Today, they need to get Roberto the Robot (Roberto? Really? Oh whatever) back to his Grandpa’s house. How does the Map tell them to go?

“Go over the bridge, pass the volcano, and then we’re at Grandpa’s house!”

I’m sorry, what? Map, did you just suggest to my child that she and her friends willingly pass along the foot of a volcano rather than, say, take another equally valid path just through some nearby brush?

Yesterday, the Map sent them through the Echo Bush, across the ocean, to the frog’s island. To get through the Echo Bush, they had to make it say “AAAAHHH!” so they could run through its mouth. Um, Map? Couldn’t they have just gone around it? It barely filled the path. I understand that they could, for once, question the Map’s direction, but c’mon. They’re children. They are looking to authority figures for guidance, and this is what the Map gives them?

Oh my god. I think I need more coffee.

Groundhog’s Day is Finally Here (Edited)

February 1st, 2007

Set your VCRs, kids (DVRs, for those in living in the new millennium). Tomorrow is the premier of another episode in the second season of Jack’s Big Music Show.

I know very little about this episode, aside from what’s listed on the website* and the fact that we will be taping this episode, come hell or high water. Why? I’ll tell you why. Jon Stewart will be in it.

Why should we care about Jon Stewart having a bit part on a kids’ show? Oh, right. You haven’t been at our house when Jack’s, The Daily Show or The Colbert Report comes on. Allow me to illuminate the significance:

1.Jack’s Big Music Show is a tot- and parent-favorite in this house.
2.Also, this is what it’s like trying to watch TV when Stewart or Colbert is on**:

My expectations are so high at this point, there is no way for the episode to live up to them. I only hope the tot likes it.

This season has been disappointing, for those of you who care. It’s as if the writers are too bogged down by plot and children’s issues. Last year Mary strode in with a stripy seed she named Arthur, a cool Daddio flower, who then grew up and bloomed to play jazz in the clubhouse, and the characters just rolled with it.

In the better episodes, the characters live in a world of magic, a place where a character would not come in with a didactic spiel on plant cycles and loving all creatures (or some similar life lesson). They already acted accordingly, leaving the writers room in the 22-minute session to expound on the “What if?” What if a seed you found only grew when music was played? What would happen then?

And this is the case with almost every episode from last season. This season. Meh. Not quite so much with the magic. I see why it’s important to demonstrate to kids that being honest and saying you’re sorry when you break your friend’s dulcimer is important, but sheesh. There are enough of those shows on TV already. This show is supposed to be about the music.

Maybe the second season will grow on me. Maybe tomorrow’s show will be good.

*The synopsis, if you’re feeling lazy: in this episode, Gertrude the Groundhog is overwhelmed by the crowds waiting to see if she’ll see her shadow or not.

**Edited to add: This picture is from a year ago. We don’t actually let her watch those two shows nowadays, as much as she absolutely wants to (which is a lot). I mean, I’m not looking for, um, more opportunities to practice parenting in the language department. And yes, I do think “crap” and “bitch” are too grown up of words for my child to use at this time. Come second grade, we’ll revisit the issue.

We Can Rebuild Her. We Have the Technology.*

December 4th, 2006

Every couple of years, my mom trots out this old story of when she got her tonsils out. She was twenty, and it was during a time when hospital stays were much longer than they are today. Women stayed in the hospital seven to ten days after having a baby with no complications, for instance. However, these days, no matter what insurance you have, you are not going to spend the night in the hospital before the morning of your tonsillectomy if you are an otherwise healthy person. You’ll come in before dawn the day of your surgery and you’ll be sent home later that day. But it was a different time then, so there my mother was, a young woman lying in the dark in her hospital bed, waiting for morning to come.

Out of the darkness came a voice, thick with accent. It was an old gypsy woman. Like a ghost, she said, “Don’t let them cut you.” (Only to hear my mom tell it, it’s more like, “Dohn’t a-let dem caht yooo.” For a “gypsy” woman, her accent is as much Italian as it is Eva Gabor’s Hungarian or a cheeky, Americanized Dracula.)

“Once they start cutting you,” the voice continued, “they never stop, until you die.”

My mother went on to have her tonsils out. A few years later she had her appendix out. A few years later she had her uterus out. She has had, as she says, all the ‘ectomies. (Never mind the fact that she still has her gall bladder, but I’ll spot her that one since she’s also had cataracts out and she’s not even of retirement age yet.) Who knows what she’ll have out next.

What triggers her to tell this story every couple of years? I seem to have a health crisis every couple of years.

In 2000, the day before HG and I were to leave on a week-long vacation for our first anniversary, I fell ill with appendicitis and had to have emergency surgery. This was the first time she told me about her gypsy woman’s portent. (Um, thanks, mom? That totally made me feel better, I think.)

In 2002, I had to have my thyroid obliterated with radioactive iodine to treat my Graves Disease.

In 2004, I had to have an emergency c-section 5 weeks before my due date in order to save the tot from dying in utero. I like to call this one my baby-ectomy.

Now, in 2006, I’ve had a mystery pain in my lower belly since February, and I’ve passed all the tests – the ultrasounds, the cat scan, the colonoscopy. At this point, all the doctors say that yes, I do have a mild separation in my abdominal wall, but that mild herniation isn’t the cause of my pain. Probably it’s endometriosis or surgical adhesions from my appendectomy and my baby-ectomy. The method of diagnosis and/or treatment for any of these conditions is laparascopy. Yet another cut.**

So maybe my mom’s gypsy woman was right. If so, I’ll be fully bionic by the time the tot graduates high school, and I suppose that might be kind of cool. I’ll be able to tear phone books in half or run really fast, and every time I jump into the air to get a cereal box down from the top of the cabinet, I’ll hear a “na na na na na na.” I doubt the gypsy could have foretold that one.

*With apologies to the creators of Six-Million-Dollar Man.

**Yay me, however, that it is not cancer or an untreatable disease. Of course, there were a few days that the gastroenterologist had me worried it might be cancer, but that is neither here nor there any longer.

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