1. Like the new masthead? That came compliments of Cinnameg, who is discovering all the joys of GIMP. If it looks like I’ve been changing it up frequently, I have; whenever she discovers a new feature I get a new masthead and I am nothing if not accommodating of one’s newfound talents. Plus, let’s be honest, this website nets me a whopping $0.00 so I’m not especially concerned about my branding. It’s all purplish, so as far as I am concerned it’s all good.
2. The post I wrote about forgetting to create a village is a featured post today (this week? all week?) on Offbeat Mama. This is really cool except I was totally unprepared for the site to then scroll to another featured post that profiled placenta. In some circles, I would say my tastes definitely run to the hippie-granola but placenta is another, squishier realm that I do not wish to explore. Ever. EVER. EVAR WITH AN “A.”
3. Anyone else playing Carmen Sandiego on Facebook? You got me, Zuckerberg, you sly minx…or rather, your third-party developers are sly minxes. This is the first Facebook game I’ve ever played and I’m feeling so-so on it. The city clues are easy but some of the identity clues are worded so strangely that I have no idea what they’re trying to get at. There was one about popsicles that I finally figured out was meant to indicate an ice cream truck as a vehicle. I mean really, now.
4. Speaking of The Zuck, I watched The Social Network with Tom last night. It was more entertaining than I had anticipated; Eisenberg did a good job and Trent Reznor’s score was quite compelling. What really pleased me was the script; I’ve enjoyed Aaron Sorkin since the days of The American President but I think his fans can agree that the man has more than a few verbal tics. Anyone who’s seen “Sports Night”, “The West Wing”, and “Studio 60” knows exactly what I mean: the oft-repeated phrases (“Not for nothing” “Cost of doing business” “You’re a very tall woman” “What Kind Of Day Has It Been”) and the relentless Gilbert and Sullivan references come to mind. The pacing and cadence of the script was such that I could absolutely imagine Sam Seaborn and Josh Lyman delivering Mark and Eduardo’s lines (perhaps with CJ Cregg as Sean? No?), but that provided an enjoyable and necessary frenetic energy to a movie that boils down to people that other people don’t like doing computer coding. Sorkin wasn’t relying on his old crutches, and I for one appreciated it. Hearing Phillip Seymour Hoffman say the line “Not for nothing…” during Charlie Wilson’s War was so jarringly Sorkin-esque that it yanked me right out of the moment; it was distracting. The Social Network’s script doesn’t do that.
5. We bought Maggie an iPad.
6. Um…I should probably go back and elaborate on 5. We didn’t buy it for everyday use; we don’t have cable, she doesn’t watch television shows and the extent of her screen exposure is our weekly family movie night (and a daily viewing of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”, thank you VERY much Tom for fostering that little addiction). But check it: our household goods move to England this month. We arrive there at the end of March. So at the end of five weeks of traveling, visiting family, going up and down the east coast, living out of hotels with just the items in our suitcases, we’ll have logged close to 30 hours of airport time before we even get to Yorkshire. And then? The real kicker?
Our household goods don’t arrive until the end of May. I KNOW, RIGHT? We can’t get a house without anything to put in it; ergo we can’t get a local library card without a UK address. We’ll be living out of a very tiny hotel room, just Tom and me and Bobby McGeeYou’reBored,Maggie.
Desperate times these are indeed, and while I can physically carry about ten books between us in our carryon bags with everything else we’re hauling (our computers and camera gear are staying on our person. My person. Our people? I shouldn’t homeschool until I figure that one out) I can store 30 (and counting!) free kids’ e-books on the iPad. Plus simple games…and puzzles…and a drawing application. (And, of course, Beyonce’s “Single Babies” music video.) Actually, I made a video for Tom for his birthday that has photos and videos of Maggie and the little narcissist loves watching herself, so I know that will be a hit. She also loves looking at photos of family, so I can’t wait to load a photo slideshow of all her relatives for her to gaze upon. We’ll have other items in her bag, like crayons, the iSpy beanbag, her tractor and her baby doll, but the iPad is going to do the heavy reading-material lifting.
I’ve heard a lot of arguments against getting kids expensive stuff like this (“It’s extravagant, it’s unnecessary, how can you top this?!”) and a lot of arguments against allowing kids screen time at all (“They need the texture of the books, it’s too much sensory overload, it encourages passive participation and not active play”) and hey, I agree with ALL of that. There is not a single argument there that I don’t find valid. But, much like my attitude toward killing the mouse when we could have used a humane trap, I’m afraid that I’m not sorry that I don’t care about any of those arguments. I don’t. They do not move me in the slightest. We’re moving across two oceans and a continent, a span that encompasses almost ten time zones, with commensurate airplane/airport time and shipping delays. If you’ve walked that same path without indulging in a little electronic stimuli, you come tell me how you did it and I’ll get you canonized and maybe throw you a damn parade. 😀 Everyone else: iTunes gift cards make a lovely present any time of year, especially when sent directly to Tom’s email! I hear President’s Day is coming! (My computer is so old we can’t sync the iPad to it, thus Tom gets the joys of managing Maggie’s toy. I’m still running my Macbook on Tiger OS.)
7. I finally added a “Share” feature. The three of you that are still out there, do feel free to Tweet, Digg, Facebook and email my musings to your endless delight. (Please. Pretty please.)
That’s all I have in me tonight. Have a glorious weekend, all!