Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Steve Jobs legacy.

I'm at the ophthma . . .  the opthfma . . .  the othph . . .

I'm at the eye-doctor for my annual appointment, and I have to complete one of those questionnaires before we begin. The name of my vision care insurance isn't on my medical card, so I ask the assistant to remind me whose coverage I have. She tells me it's EyeMed.

Despite standing in Rye Eye Care, surrounded by frames, with an eye-test in my immediate future, I write "iMed" on the form.

I guess Apple has me where it wants me.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Daily Insult.

Over dinner at our local Asian fusion restaurant.

Tertius: Dad, what's on your bucket list?

Me: I don't have one yet.

Tertius (astounded): Why not?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Who needs Walmart?

In less than a year, I'll have lived in the United States for 30 years. It's already more than half my life. I'm an American citizen, as are my three kids. I even know all the words to the National Anthem. Well, I sometimes get the word order a bit muddled around that broad stars, bright stripes bit. . . uh, bright stars . . . white stripes . . . smashing pumpk--

(And, as I tell the offspring, even though they now dwell among the wicked investment bankers in the Marvelous Leafy Land of Rye -- "Greenwich Lite" -- they were all born in New York, New York. Manhattan. The center of the gosh-darn universe. In New York Hospital.)

But it's still a joy, every once in a while, to have a new classic American cultural experience. And a few weeks ago, my beloved goddaughter, Lily, celebrated her birthday in a Long Island establishment owned by a Mr. Charles (Chuck) E. Cheese.

Lily and her dad, my buddy Ryan
And it was great. Well-organized, clean, professional, decent pizza, plenty for the guys to do, well-trained and friendly staff. No complaints -- I just take my hat off, as I do for that other corporate Mouse, when a business sets out to do one thing well and succeeds.

So no satirical comments about the venue. Just a couple of observations. Like another first experience -- the observation of an amazing poufed-up and suspiciously dark-brown mullet haircut on a middle-aged customer, complete with a compensatory bald spot on the back.

And, as I was successfully bonding with Lily, whom I do not see anywhere near enough (and I'm sure my three other goddaughters, all teenagers now, could confirm my criminal elusiveness), having her little cousin come up to us, look at me critically, and ask: "Are you Lily's aunt?"

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Make a joke and I will sigh and you will laugh and I will cry. Or vice versa.

We never forced the boys into piano lessons, but there's always been an available keyboard or two around the house, with frequent urgings to play and offers of parental guidance. Yet no instinctive, budding Mozart has so far emerged, even though they all enjoy music.

Which is why it was inspiring to catch 13-year-old Primus hammering out a riff on the family room Casio the other day (hey, dude, there's a Steinway in the living room).

Even more inspiring to recognize it as almost exactly the rhythm and chord sequence of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid."

I was hoping for Vaughan Williams, but I guess Ozzy in the blood isn't so bad.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Tales of the unexpected.

The young gentleman are going to Disneyland with their mother for the Easter break. As I drive them over, Tertius solemnly hands me a wooden rod from the back seat of the car, the size of a longish baton.

"What's this?" I ask.

"It's the handle from the toilet plunger," he says, with the "duh!" subtext clear.

"Well, how did it get here?" I splutter.

"Oh, I took it."

"Why? And where's the rest of it?"

He looks at me strangely. "In the closet where it's supposed to be, of course."

Duh, indeed.