Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lt. Dan Band

Check it out. The movie will be released online on July 4th.

Friday, June 24, 2011

What I Don't Want for my Boys

One of things I do not want, most of all, is to turn out snobs. Sounds reasonable, doesn't it? But how many people who say that would also give a limb and a kidney to send their child to an Ivy or similarly prestigious school? This is why I've said before and will say again: what your kids learn in class is only one of the many things you should think about when picking a school - be it college, elementary school, high school - whatever.

Because really, do you want them to end up like this one day?

"My education taught me to believe that people who didn’t go to an Ivy League or equivalent school weren’t worth talking to, regardless of their class. I was given the unmistakable message that such people were beneath me. We were “the best and the brightest,” as these places love to say, and everyone else was, well, something else: less good, less bright. I learned to give that little nod of understanding, that slightly sympathetic “Oh,” when people told me they went to a less prestigious college. (If I’d gone to Harvard, I would have learned to say “in Boston” when I was asked where I went to school—the Cambridge version of noblesse oblige.) I never learned that there are smart people who don’t go to elite colleges, often precisely for reasons of class. I never learned that there are smart people who don’t go to college at all." [emphasis added]

That right there, folks, is the description on an idiot. A very educated one, but an idiot all the same. No. Thank. You.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Few Random Thing I Know

You know you live in Texas when the guys remodeling your next door neighbor's house are still at it at 8:30 on a Saturday night. 12 hours a day, 6 days a week - isn't that a standard work-week?

You know you live in Houston when you children request sushi for their first post-camp dinner. And you give it to them.

You know you've picked the right summer camp when you wash the shirt your 11 year old played paintball in and it comes clean. Yes, water-soluble paintball pellets. One's pre-school never figured out the "non-permanent paint" thing, but Pine Cove has it down pat.

You know your younger child will be a sore trial to his wife someday when every picture taken at camp all week shows him wearing the same outfit. Six days, one really foul white swim-shirt. Ugh.

You know your older son enjoyed camp when he and three of his cabinmates insist on re-registering for the same week next year before they will allow you to leave the premises, and they painstakingly write down each other's full names to make sure they get to be in the same cabin as one another again next year.

You know you've been married a long time when you buy your husband a new shredder for Father's Day, give it to him early, and he's actually happy about it.

That's all I know for now.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Shopping in an Empty Box

I went to Barnes and Noble tonight to try to find something to read that might hold my interest. After all, why not? Husband and I are free of children this week, so 7:30pm trips alone to the bookstore seem like a good idea. There's only one problem: I forgot about the five main rules of shopping at a modern chain bookstore.

1. If they have a lot of it, it will suck. See Stieg Larsson, JD Salinger, and anything with vampires.

2. If you want to buy title A from a particular author, they will always have the inferior B and C, but never, ever A.

3. Whatever on your list you want the most, they won't have at all. They might not even have anything that author has written, no matter how prolific.

4. Browsing never solves anything. Otherwise known as: if the back cover review is written by Barbara Kingsolver, put the book down and back away slowly.

5. No matter how hopeful you are, books with dogs on the cover will always end one way: with a dead dog.

Me, I'm home now and (re)borrowing one of One's Percy Jackson's. Now that kid? He has a much better book selection in his room than any bookstore I've ever seen. Lucky boy.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Ten years ago this weekend, Tropical Storm Allison ravaged Houston. We were undeservedly blessed to have no damage from the storm, although we went to bed that Friday night convinced that we would wake in the morning to water throughout the house. Friends lost their homes; one couple we know perched on their kitchen counter with a bottle of wine and watched their cat jump from one piece of furniture to another to avoid the rising water. Miraculously no one we knew lost their lives, although 23 people in Texas were lost.

The Chronicle has an excellent slideshow of pictures from those terrible days. Check it out.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Just a Thought

I was talking with some acquaintances tonight - nice people, all of them, I have to say - and I was puzzled to find the conversation I walked into consisting of (A) decrying the insularity of all people who live in "small town America" (upstate NY and Katy TX in particular) while (B) using (A) as an excuse to never go outside Loop 610 in Houston, unless it's to (1) shop at The Galleria or (2) leave town altogether.

I have to say I'm confused. Using the supposed insularity of others to explain your own inability to get along with anyone "not your own kind" seems to not work very well as an argument. Just a thought, but perhaps some self-reflection and honesty is in order. Why not just admit it? Say out loud "I don't like people who aren't like me and I want absolutely nothing to do with them" and be done with it. After all, that's really what you said already - you just needed some circular self-justification to get there.