Assorted detritus from another February in New England:
* You'll all feel relieved to know that my beloved snowblower finally roared back to life, following its near-fatal injury in December and subsequent long (and expensive) rehabilitation. We got about 10" of snow on Friday, prompting civilization as we know it to come to a crashing halt. The next morning: a couple of squirts of gas, a gentle tweak of the throttle, and suddenly my baby was roaring like a lion and purring like a kitten -- effortlessly generating a carefully-directed geyser up and away from a driveway that had become too-accustomed to the gentle strokes of my shovel. (I'm pretty sure I wept with joy.)
* On a less joyful note, my escapades in the snow provided TheWife with a stroke of inspiration: "Let's take the kids sledding!" So: 20 minutes of chasing them around the house was followed by 20 minutes of loading them into the truck and driving them to a local hill, then 15 minutes of unloading them and the sleds, then hauling the aforementioned sleds across a long field while the kids sat like lumps of angry stone, then 10 minutes of trying to haul the laden sleds up a hill where 10" of powder sat on top of a thick sheet of ice (causing me to go down on my ass no less than 7 times), before we finally reached the top and looked down upon the sled hill in all its splendor... only to have 2 of my 3 kids immediately begin crying and screaming: "Aaaaaaah! It's too big! I'm too cold! I hate this! I want to go home! I! Want! To! Go! Home!"
(Only Rabbit was brave enough to give it a go. Damn, I love that little girl.)
Anyhow. That was fun. We'll have to try it again next year. You know, after I'm dead.
* Speaking of fruitless attempts to have fun in the snow, please join me in wishing my imaginary friend Jonniker happy travels as she and her husband load up the truck and move, Beverly Hillbillies-style, from the tropical hell of SW Florida to the slightly less tropical but also significantly less-hellish wilds of Vermont. The good news: Vermont offers fewer gators, fire ants and murderous psychotics (at least, on a per capita basis). The bad news: I don't think she owns winter boots. Or a shovel. Pray for her.
* Did I mention that TheWife went to NYC with her sisters over Presidents' Day Weekend? True story. Which means I was locked in my house for two days with three bloodthirsty children. Result? Approximately 270 viewings of The Little Mermaid, and no casualties. A miracle.
* I fucking hate The Little Mermaid, by the way. 16-year old, bikini-clad redhead decides to defy her father and go chase after a sailor/prince? Faaaaantasic. I love the precedent this is setting for my girls.
* Although King Triton? That dude is ripped. Much respec, yo.
* On an unrelated movie note, we enjoyed Eastern Promises last weekend. A bit more Viggo than I needed to see, sure... but Cronenberg/Viggo is the bomb. Not quite as earth-shaking as A History of Violence (an all-time great), but worthwhile. (TheWife, for her part, thoroughly enjoyed her Whole Lotta Viggo. "Can we watch that scene again?")
* It's been five long years since I last wore glasses, but an inexplicable and complete bilateral shredding of my last pair of contacts yesterday left me wandering around today in proud Mr. Magoo style. (New contacts should be arriving via mail later this week.) Fortunately, this step back in time was greeted by a pair of wonderful compliments. The first came from Butterfly, who remarked as I held her hand and walked her downstairs this morning, "Your glasses look very handsome, Daddy." And then I melted.
The second came at work, where my early-twentysomething colleague Bouvier walked in to my office, discovered me squinting at her through a pair of outdated specs, and said that I looked "cute." I was initially too surprised to respond, so she continued by clarifying, "They make you look more... intellectual."
"Oh." I got it. "You mean, I look slightly less stupid than usual."
"Yeah," she replied. "But my way sounded a lot nicer."