The Canadian Club

{October 23, 2009}   Bits and pieces… Hi Mom!

You know, Dave, I was just about to ask you if you had seen the last episode of Mad Men, yet — which I think is the — gulp — penultimate of the season? If you have, then we have a heck of a lot to discuss good golly!

In the interim, there’s always Glee.

Anyway, I was reading Flaubert’s correspondence recently — bits and pieces, natch — and it really humbled and almost shamed me.  You remember those wild times when e-mail was just starting out and we had that kind of clubby student interface at the old school?  And then I started getting four to six e-mails a day from my mother?  And we all kind of thought that was really weird.  I mean, not as weird as some people thought I was, but still…

Well, reading the letters Flaubert wrote to his mother from Egypt, it appears that I should have been both more appreciative and more assiduous in my replies all this time… I mean, not only did she write him constantly, constantly complaining that he did not write back often enough, but he actually seemed to take pleasure in reading her letters!  Sentimentally setting aside all other task to open himself to the wellspring of emotions brought about by the words of his chère vieille (seriously, I cannot imagine addressing my mama with some variation of “you old bag”). Moreover, he took to writing to his comrades requesting that they check in on her.  Times change… Anyhoo, it really brought me back to those moments when I would have to lie about where I was traveling, just to avoid any excess of fretting: Flaubert’s mother apparently imagined that he was eaten by crocodiles or, perhaps, besieged by Bedouins as every week went by without word from him.  Of course, in other respects, I have never been expected to give the kind of detailed report on my daily health that Flaubert felt necessary — Dude, TMI!

Otherwise, I was wondering why I always have a rough time leaving the house in the morning.  Then I realized that there is an inverse relationship between distance between sleeping cats and hours it takes to get out the door in the morning:

let sleeping cats lie

let sleeping cats lie

Really… could you bring yourself to abandon such a thing?

{October 20, 2009}   The remix

While I’m here, not reading Flaubert… and after leaving you in the lurch yesterday, I thought I might take on the task of starting us off with some questions today — saving, of course, your meditations on Betty Draper and Pixie Princesses for a broader Mad Men discussion…

First off, what do you make of this?  Having maintained a blissful contrarianism by being the only person I know who doesn’t even pretend to listen to NPR, I had no idea that there was a controversy brewing over the extent to which the things that NPR listeners think is cool actually suck.  Yet, this seems rather like a parody of a conversation you’d have with that guy you live with:

NPR is fond of rockers like Living Colour (R), BLK JKS (F)—black performers with the good sense to embrace a musical style associated with whites. (The 1970s power-trio Death qualifies for an improbable [D,O,R] on account of the untimely demise of two of its members.) NPR is fascinated by black musicians with sensational human-interest back stories and physical handicaps, like “Song of the Day” honorees Staff Benda Bilili (F), “a group of paraplegic street musicians who entertain from their base near the … zoological gardens” in Kinshasa, Congo.

However, this makes me feel even better about all those conversations I wasn’t able to have with my co-workers in DC.

Yesterday, you brought up the question of talking about staying fit.  Another scourge of Facebook is cuisine posts: status updates that either discuss a recent culinary experience in a restaurant that is out of most people’s price ranges or, more frequently, about what that person has just cooked.  This is often aggravated by the inclusion of photos of said dish.


Now, we both like to spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen — so what should be considered acceptable guidelines for discussing things culinary?

Finally, what’s up with Andy Capp?  Is the woman being sarcastic here?  Because it seem to me that the whole reason James Bond has never settled down is because he really would be like Andy Capp once all hitched up.
Andy Capp

et cetera