Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Good Man, Down

Goodbye, Daniel Schorr. You made me laugh, you made me think, and when I heard of your death, you made me cry. I will truly miss you.

I rarely care about the deaths, or near-deaths, of celebrities. Didn’t care at all about Gary Coleman, Dennis Hopper or George Steinbrenner. I got a bit weepy when Lena Horne died, I thought Salinger was already dead, so that didn’t bug me. My heart stopped when I heard that George Michael died, but it was a different George Michael, so that was okay. When Oral Roberts died, I wondered what he found and if he was welcome there. But a couple of deaths this year have brought me to tears.

Patrick Swayze--who didn’t get choked up? And I’ll admit publicly that I miss Senator Ted Kennedy. But I cried the hardest at NPR’s announcement yesterday. Daniel Schorr had been my personal News Analyst for the past 15 years. You’ve gotta respect a man who winds up on Richard Nixon’s enemies list and then doesn’t punch the man when he meets him in person. You’ve gotta love a man who sang, in concert, with Frank Zappa behind him and the Mothers of Invention backing him up. You’ve especially gotta love that man when he chooses a song from Porgy and Bess.

He published his memoirs in 2001, Staying Tuned: A Life in Journalism. I think I’ll sit shiva in my own way, with a tall smoothie and a good book.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dumb Words

Here are some things I’ve heard or read lately that were so brilliant I wanted to share them with you, my beloved readers. No, none of these was taken from my blog.

  1. “I’m like, the only white person back there!” Waitress at Jose Ruiz, a restaurant that serves authentic Mexican cuisine.
  2. “He’s tougher than you because he’s a boy.” Father of a 2 year old, talking to my 3 daughters. No, I did not smack him, but when he saw the death rays shooting from my eyes, his laughter shriveled up. I hope that’s not the only thing that shriveled up.
  3. “Keeping children’s hands away from their faces helps prevent cold and flue germs from getting in,” the genius Children’s Hospital on NPR claims. And how, oh-people-who-have-never-raised-children, do you suggest we do that?
  4. “For single use only.” And where did this rule appear? On a can of magnetic paint. Just in case you were going to paint it on a wall, take it off and then reuse it. Or, maybe you were going to cut the wall out, move it to another location, and use it there. That is not allowed, you rule breaker. Apparently I agreed to the “terms of use” when I broke the label stretched across the can’s lid. And I didn’t even call my lawyer first. I like to live on the edge like that.

One more thought, though not a “dumb word” thought, just a random thought. Burger King, why can't you get your french fries right? It’s not rocket science, you fat breeding grease throwers. It’s just a potato.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


“I can’t go outside because there’s a yellow ladybug.” The four year old has tears in her eyes.

“Why can’t you be outside with a yellow ladybug?” I ask, already knowing the answer.

“Because yellow ladybugs are poisonous.” Right. Conversation number 76.

“No, they aren’t.”

“Yes, they are!”

“Did Heidi tell you that?” Rhetorical question.

“Heidi does NOT know more about bugs than I do. Heidi is 5. I am 38. I know more about bugs than Heidi does. Yellow ladybugs are not going to bite you. Sometimes, yellow and red can mean that if YOU eat THEM you might get sick. Are you going to eat the yellow ladybug?”

“Then it can’t hurt you.”

Did I win the argument? Of course. Four year old nodded her head.

And then sat at the table, where she is still sitting.

Because I may have won the argument, but I did not convince her, so the battle and the war go to Heidi.

Heidi is the reason my daughter came inside screaming hysterically because she saw an ant. An ant. We do not live in the South. We do not have fire ants. Our ants barely make a mark on the cement and 4 year old, to her knowledge, has never ever been bitten by an ant. But Heidi is afraid of ants so Youngest Girl is afraid of ants, too.

I’ve told all my children that they can pick one phobia and it can not be bugs. So, of course, Quietly Stubborn Streak has chosen to be afraid of bugs. I’ve really got to broaden her friendships.