Tuesday, November 16, 2004


via Susan, via Tim, and so on, the shuffle blog-meme: here are the first ten songs that come up in iTunes (or your player of choice, if you have the uncontrollable monkeylike urge to imitate me) on shuffle. Mind you, I have been dumping everything I own or come across into iTunes ...

Mama's Always On Stage, Arrested Development
Ride On, Lulabox
Heatwave, Martha Reeves &The Vandellas
Cloud on My Tongue, Tori Amos
Mr. Peppermint Man, Dick Dale
Washed Away, Arrested Development
Rhythm of the Blues, Mary Chapin Carpenter
I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Day, Dr. John
Michael, Etti Ankri
Shir Labat (A Song For A Daughter), Etti Ankri

Funky. I will now listen to this mix.

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Friday, November 12, 2004


I am not going to blog about politics right now. I am not going to link to my comments about politics on other people's blogs. Though I suppose I can link to other people linking to me commenting about politics on other people's blogs.

I never knew I was so intolerant of people being intolerant of people being intolerant.

There is one bright spot about this election and its caterwauling, hissy aftermath, though: lots of cool maps

(via logos and chrononaut; some explanations here...)

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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Fundamental Axis of Identity (Addendum to "Teatray, Prince of Bears")

I asked Aviva why it was that she identifies with Arthur, not D.W., even though D.W. is a girl about her age, and Arthur is an eight-year-old boy.

Aviva looked at me like I was crazy. "D.W. is the little sister -- Arthur is the big brother!"

Forget Age and Gender -- they're of middling if any relevance.

The fundamental axis of identity in Aviva's world? Birth Order.

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Thursday, November 4, 2004

Teatray, Prince of Bears

Pictures from Halloween:

Pre-Haloween lounging, Noah: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8  

Pre-Haloween lounging, Aviva (trying on Rabbit Hat): 0   1   2  

Pre-Haloween prancing about, Aviva: 0   1   2   3   4   5  

Putting on makeup: 0   1   2   3   4   5  

Aviva said several days before Halloween that she wanted to be a rabbit. (She later declared she was Buster). The other costumes were last-minute things -- I was Harlequin because I saw the clown hat sitting in the attic; my mom, who came over without a costume, was assigned to be a rugby player who, for some unexplained reason, is holding an American football; and Noah was given a bear hat and declared to be Teatray, Prince of Bears.

The pumpkins (and Rita, Esther's mom): 0 1 2 3
(Aviva drew the faces for all the jack-o-lanterns, except for the more traditional small one on the right)

Trick or treating: 0 1 2 3

The business about "Teatray" bears explaining (ha, bears explaining, get it, snurfle). Aviva has assigned everyone names from a pair of nineteenth century children's songs: she is Diamond, I am Bat, Esther is Star, Noah is Teatray, Rita is Twinkle, Karen is Wonder, and so on.

The other day she was singing in the supermarket aisle:

Twinkle, twinkle, little bat
how I wonder where you're at
Up above the world so high
like a tea-tray in the sky...

A nice lady leaned over to say, "No, honey, it's twinkle twinkle little star..."

I cleared my throat: "actually, that's the Lewis Carroll version she's singing..."

That was Halloween, though. Now we're in a whole other week, and we have a whole new set of names. I am now Buster, Aviva is Arthur, Noah is D. W., Esther is Francine, Goa (who you will remember is Aviva's little sister, not hindered in the slightest in this capacity by the fact that she is a doll) is Kate, and Cereina, typically, is Bionic Bunny. (Cereina is the punchiest, sassiest, most assertive, and wildest of Aviva's six doll-children).

I have now watched so many episodes of PBS's Arthur series so many times, I can quote it chapter and verse -- and it really is a well put together show with a lot of heart. It's pretty much the only thing that our TV has been used for for the past three months (except for one of the presidential debates... but let's not even get on that topic, shall we?). Aviva gets to watch two Arthur videos a day. It's become a major part of the folk literature of our family -- "Aviva, remember when D.W. went into the forest to look for deer and she was really quiet? Well, this is just like that..."

I find it fascinating that Aviva is this huge fan of these videos about an eight-year old boy... and that she clearly identifies with him and not with D.W., his five-year-old sister. Boy, if this keeps up, is she ever going to be ready for the social and interpersonal challenges of third grade -- she'll know what to do about social ostracism of asthmatics, rivalry over baby-tooth-loss, and accidentally taking the bus to the wrong part of town -- she'll have all those scripts memorized.

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Monday, November 1, 2004

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