Monday, December 19, 2011

Channeling Dooce

I suppose that excessive exposure to Dooce can have side effects.


Baby is in my arms and stretches her hand as if to snatch something on a high surface. I hand her something safe (stuffed, soft, big, etc.) but she is not happy and keeps stretching her hand. I speak aloud:

- Mmmh... you don't like your toy. How about a rusted nail then? A shard of glass? A paring knife? The lid of a can? Coupla' pills would be just the thing? Would it make you happy?

And there's always someone present who says - Oh no, don't you give her anything of that. It might be dangerous!


Another one. Baby or nephew falls awkwardly and cries dramatically, mostly out of surprise than any real pain.

- Oh sweetie, let me see it. Does it hurt a lot? Mmh? Do you think we'll have to amputate? No? That's good. Go back to play.


Whenever I say things like that I feel I'm channeling Heather Armstrong, queen of misunderstood sarcasm and hyperbole.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Wallpaper friends

A reference to Bono, singer of incombustible* Irish band U2, made me want to listen to their music. So right now (internet has made us very anxious people, hasn't it?) they are singing Beautiful Day through a can - or so it seems with my awful speakers. I'm not complaining, though, I'm getting my fix!

But it makes me think that U2, which has been around since about the time I was born (2 years more, actually), sounds a lot like they were my friends. I've heard their music for the past two decades, I've bought some of it and been to one concert (I would have gladly gone to more and maybe will one day), their songs have been with me in different stages of my life, different moods, places and people, different times, same music, same sound. It's not wallpaper music but it's been there all this time. Sometimes in the background, sometimes in the forefront. Mostly, for unfathomable reasons, it makes me think of very pleasant things; it triggers my imagination wheels to places it doesn't visit otherwise.

It's crazy to think that they somehow are part of my identity, though we'll never meet. U2's songs might not be wallpaper music, but they feel like wallpaper friends to me. Not exactly real but not fictional either. The limbo of celebrity-dom, I suppose.

* I'm sure "incombustible" doesn't exist in English, but it's a term I heard often in Spain and it fits U2 perfectly. Non combustible; it doesn't go down in its own flames. Ever.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Reading aloud

Regretting over the demise of customs of the past doesn't seem wise (it's for a reason that they're gone, after all), but lately I've been wondering about reading aloud - probably because it's an activity I carry out for about half an hour, almost every night. And it's surprisingly difficult, to give the right inflection, to make it interesting (though I aim for boring and sleep inducing), to actually read the written words instead of the words I'd expect to.

Once an English teacher mentioned that friends would meet and read a book aloud and it struck me as an excellent idea. I am not aware of this actually happening anywhere (except among actors), and I don't think my friends would find it enticing to meet and read one book aloud. Very unlikely.

But some nights when I'm reading to my daughter, I imagine what it would be like, having more people giving their voices to the characters and narration. Maybe her voice will join mine one day. Or maybe, it will take over.