This picture is the only one where 1 - am not squinting from, 2 - am smiling and 3 - don't look like I'm standing apart from the rest of the family.

This picture is the only one where 1 – I am not squinting, 2 – I am smiling and 3 – I don’t look like I’m standing apart from the rest of the family.

It’ll be a while before I can get another post done.  Last weekend I flew out to the Bay Area as a surprise for my oldest brother’s 50th birthday. (more…)

2015-02-08-w:Mama-Daddy-Alison-skating2015-02-08-w:Alison-skatingBeing so miserable in our current apartment (yellowjackets, ants (twice), piece that fell off the bathroom ceiling, leaking bathroom ceiling, busted furnace, leaking radiator, and that’s not all of it), we had put the kibosh on anyone visiting until after we are able to extricate ourselves from this place.  However, since my sister came to town for a job fair, I wasn’t going to make her stay at a hotel.  She came in just in time for the third snowstorm in less than two weeks – though we basically had a snow-free winter before the blizzard that descended just twelve days ago, we have already had a whole winter’s worth of snow and we might have up to two feet arriving before Tuesday morning.  Still, we found time today to get over to our local ice rink; Thomas has been taking skating lessons for a while now and Alison’s been skating for over 20 years, so it was good for the two of them to be on the ice together.  Now, we can just wait to find out if Thomas will have his fifth snow day in the last 10 school days.

Thomas hugs his newest plush friend - a gigantic Olaf.

Thomas hugs his newest plush friend – a gigantic Olaf.

A very Merry Xmas

And a Happy New Year

Let’s hope it’s a good one

Without any fear

That, of course, is my favorite Christmas song.  You can listen to it here.  Or, there’s the Alarm version.  Or, if you prefer a more angelic voice, there’s Sarah McLachlan.  Or, if you want a bit of a medley, go to the bottom of the post and you have U2 singing it acoustically, followed by their brilliant take on “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” and the video for “Do They Know It’s Christmas”. (more…)

Yes, we went somewhere over the weekend.

Yes, we went somewhere over the weekend.

We managed to hit the first night of Zoolights at the National Zoo.

We managed to hit the first night of Zoolights at the National Zoo.

More astute readers may have noticed that it’s been a while since the last post.  Things keep getting in the way of finishing the Nighthawk Awards for 1956.  One of those things was that we decided to get out of our nightmare of an apartment for a few days and headed down south on I-95, braving all the snow (there really wasn’t much) and traffic (not too bad either). (more…)

The illustrated version of The Hobbit that I have been reading to Thomas.

The illustrated version of The Hobbit that I have been reading to Thomas.

I’m trying to work on a few different posts at the same time.  One is a For Love of Film, one is the next batch of Oscar-nominated directors.  Another is a look at Adapted Screenplays from 1912-1926.  And there are a couple of For Love of Books posts that I’m trying to work on.

Three great characters.  And one not so great.

Three great characters. And one not so great.

That, and I have been reading to Thomas from The Hobbit every night.  We just finished last night, after having started back in December.  Now we’re moving on to The Wind in the Willows.

Oh, and Veronica and I have been watching our way through “Doctor Who”.  After finishing all of the current run (Eccleston, Tenant, Smith), we also went back and started at the beginning.  The very beginning: “An Unearthly Child”, which aired originally on 23 November 1963.  Well, after watching a bunch of Hartnell (most of which were “meh” but definitely get “The Chase”) and every available serial with Troughton (who was awesome), we have been watching our way through the 3rd Doctor – Jon Pertwee, with some mixed results (Veronica really doesn’t like a particular companion who happens to not be Liz or Sarah Jane).  We’ve been trying to finish before the second half of Series 7 begins on 30 March.  We won’t quite make it, but it will be close.

All of this means the next post might be ready for tomorrow or it might not.  But there will be some coming soon.  And after finishing three different series which ran for over three years each (Year in Film ran from 30 Oct 2009 to 3 March 2013, The History of the Academy Awards: Best Picture ran from 9 March 2010 to 17 March 2013 and The Top 100 Novels ran from 10 January 2010 to 24 February 2013) I am a bit exhausted.  So more soon.  But now I’m off to watch more Pertwee (only six more serials until Sarah Jane!).

And we’ll let you all know how Thomas’ science fair project goes.  We’re investigating if crushing Mentos before you put them in Diet Coke effects how much they explode.  Let the messiness begin!

Thomas and I on a snow pile.  Veronica took the picture and stayed far from the pile.

Thomas and I on a snow pile. Veronica took the picture and stayed far from the pile.

Well, for once the weathermen in Boston were right.  We got a blizzard.  The picture on the left is partial proof.  This powerpoint (BlizzardFeb13) is more proof.  We got closer to three feet of snow rather than two.  But, with the drifts, as you can see when you get to the first picture of the car, it went closer to five feet.  Also, our upstairs neighbors did a timelapse video which you can see here.  But, two days in a row home with Thomas and Veronica – can’t remember the last time that happened.  I love the snow.

I hope you all enjoyed 2012.  We actually spent the whole year in one place, a place we like living in, so that alone was good for us.  And Thomas is having a much better time now at the end of the year than he was having during the start.

So, if you come to the blog to read about Thomas and to follow what he’s doing, we’ll try to keep updating it in 2013 as much as we can.  Meanwhile, now that Veronica and I both have iPhones, we’ll be trying to put more videos of him up on YouTube.  If you keep watching after the first video, it will keep playing them.  Or you can find them all here.

But, if you are here for the posts about film and literature and other random things that I feel like writing about, keep reading after the jump. (more…)

IMG_1493Well, it’s Christmas.  I suspect you might have already known that.

That pile under the tree has now pretty much been devoured.  We have eaten our eggs, coffee cake and sausage and we have our croque monsieurs and chicken cacciatore to come.  We are watching Pixar Shorts Vol II (though last night we watched A Charlie Brown Christmas and Christmas Eve on Sesame Street and we watched Mickey’s Christmas Carol while opening presents), which Thomas got for Christmas.  And tonight it will be all about the new companion on the Christmas episode of Doctor Who.  Though before that, we’ll go out in the snow (yes – we actually have received the gift of a white christmas – at least it’s a gift to Erik).

Thanks to everyone who sent Thomas things – except for the pile in the back, everything under the tree was pretty much for him.  And he has been enjoying it all this morning.


On the carousel at Sesame Place.

We’ve had to go out of town for personal reasons.  If you know us, send an e-mail and we’ll explain.  If you just like to read the posts, check back next week for the next year in film (2003), the next Top 100 Novel (Great Gatsby), and whatever random shit that comes into my head and comes out of my keyboard.  In the meantime, enjoy a random picture of Thomas.

Veronica and Thomas with Cookie Monster

Erik and Thomas with Bert and Ernie.

Well, Sesame Place had their Free Autism Day again.  We decided not do anything big on the way down like last year (when we went to the Bronx Zoo).  I did, in a fit of insanity, decide to try to show Veronica a little of Manhattan.  It would have been fine, except for the following things:

1 – I went the wrong way at the end of the Throgs Neck Bridge and started heading out on Long Island

2 – I reversed myself by getting on the L.I.E., which, unfortunately, seems to be jam-packed with traffic at noon on a Friday.

3 – I thought this would be a good way to get to the Brooklyn Bridge (which I thought would be a nice way to go), when, in fact, it is a good way to get to the Midtown Tunnel.

4 – Once we were in Manhattan, I forgot that Broadway runs one-way downtown, so my thought of driving her towards Times Square so she could see it, didn’t really work.

5 – Tolls.  F#$%^g TOLLS!  We drove to Philadelphia and back.  Our trip encompassed some 660 miles.  We paid $56 in tolls.  On the list of things I dislike about living on the East Coast, right along with all the damn sporting events happening so late that I’m exhausted just staying up to watch them, tolls is one.  I used to drive all the time from Portland to Southern California.  2100 miles round trip.  The only time I would ever pay a toll is if I took the Golden Gate Bridge. (more…)

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