Archive for the 'Distracted reading' Category

Airplane Cry

February 11, 2011

Andrew Hicks

After four days of being late with my posts, I’m finally caught up. I can write in first-person present tense again. Which is a comfy-cozy feeling.

I stepped outside to take the trash out this morning and noticed it was a pretty decent, sunny day. Right now, 34 feels terrific, because it’s thirty more degrees than 4. So I stood out there for a minute and heard, over my shoulder, a crazy, demonic baby shriek. It was the craziest thing for a second, until I figured out it was just the noise of an airplane flying overhead. Good thing, too. I don’t think I’m ready to deal with Silas bursting into an Airplane Cry.

One of the grandparents gave Sarah a heavy hardcover book (it has not been dropped on any of my toes — yet) with classic, public-domain children’s stories in it. Most of which I’ve never heard of. Sarah always brings it over and acts excited for me to read it, but in seconds she’s bored to tears.

One story hinged on a character drinking some Irish coffee, and I was reading to Sarah while she was watching Baby Beethoven. So after she said, “What’s that?” and I noticed she was asking about a watermelon on the screen, I quickly realized I could explain the ins and outs of an Irish coffee to my kid but couldn’t accurately state just how a watermelon grows and ripens.

To sum up: Watermelon = research necessary. Irish coffee = no research necessary.

I just pigged out on cottage cheese, applesauce and grapes. What am I, five?

CORRECTION

Our post on January 30 (“Penguin’s balls“) incorrectly stated the number of balls inside the inflated plastic penguin as 4. (Two pair.) There are actually only 3 balls inside the penguin, as the picture next to the blog text clearly shows. (One-and-a-half pair.) Dad’s Daytime Diary regrets the error.

FAMILY PICTURE OF THE DAY

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TV Guide from 1984

January 3, 2011

Andrew Hicks

There were a few years, when I was younger and alone a lot more, that I made a concerted effort to read lotsa books as a New Year’s resolution. My full-on book reading has dwindled over the years and is quick becoming a thing of the past the more Sarah grows as a walking, talking person.

Now I’ll check out an issue of Rolling Stone or Entertainment Weekly from the library every couple months, start reading it, leave it somewhere out of the way, forget about it, renew it, still not finish reading it, then finally skim through the remaining pages as I’m walking to the book returns desk. That’s how I learned who Paramore was. (HINT: It’s a contemporary musical act.)

Anyway, most of my reading is done online, and it’s all attention-deficitty. My only reading material in print so far in 2011 is a copy of TV Guide from February 1984 that I bought from a comic book shop like 20 years ago. I grew up an obsessive, nostalgia-driven TV and music freak, and I found stuff like old issues of TV Guide to be fascinating pop-culture artifacts.

I just found that TV Guide in a box of stuff in the basement. Stuff I’d packed away probably ten years ago and never opened back up. I don’t have much use for it now, so it’s headed for the recycle bin or a thrift store donation bag. But for a quick moment, while I should be writing about something intelligent, I’m gonna take my 27-year-old TV Guide out for one final spin.

On the cover, the Winter Olympics. Nothing too fancy. Cover price: 50 cents. Highlights inside include:

    Page A-7 — A two-paged Let’s Review the Facts ad from R.J. Reynolds tobacco that says, “Studies which conclude that smoking causes disease have regularly ignored scientific evidence to the contrary.” There are probably a dozen cigarette ads scattered through the rest of the magazine, all featuring beautiful, white-teethed, active people whose lives are enhanced by nicotine and tar. Just typing all this makes me want to go smoke. 

    Page A-24 — Listings for NBC’s powerhouse Saturday sitcom lineup of “Diff’rent Strokes,” “Silver Spoons,” “We Got it Made” and “Mama’s Family.” Three of the four were in regular syndication when I was a kid, but I only ever saw one TBS rerun of “We Got it Made” in a hotel room during a vacation one time when I was like 13. It’s about maids in a hotel so, you know, the title is kinda like a play on words.

    Page A-74 — The joy of realizing I could’ve watched a brand new “Scarecrow and Mrs. King” is coupled with the pain of realizing that in 1984, Nickelodeon ceased programming at 7 pm. This was a cable world pre-Nick at Nite. Horrifying.

    Page A-120 — A two-page ad spread for the Rotation-Freedom Diet, which didn’t actually admit they “made false, misleading, and unsubstantiated claims in advertising” until 2006, after marketing the diet under six other names. You gotta admit that’s a pretty good reign of diet-fraud terror, and it’s preserved right here in the old TV Guide I’m about to get rid of.

Twenty-seven years you lasted, issue of TV Guide packed in a box in my basement. That’s a run that could rival even the Rotation-Freedom Diet people.

BABY PICTURE OF THE DAY

Me with 5-month-old Sarah.