Sunday, November 10, 2013

Mopes the Clown

Kat and Ada have been gone for the last 10 days, so nothing has happened here other than sadness and book reading.  So for the past 10 days my life has been a lot like it was before I met Kat.  Sometimes when I seem less than thrilled by Kat and Ada's hijinks, Kat will ask me whether I would prefer to be back by myself in that studio apartment in Yuma. That is normally how she phrases it.  Sometimes she just says "Do you even like us?" in an exasperated voice.  My answer is always: No, I don't want to be back in that apartment, and of course, I love you guys, now please, let me watch this game without interruption!

But seriously, other than the fact that I was able to watch all 82 games of the 2004-05 Phoenix Suns season and read all of the books I wanted and listen to Death Cab for Cutie as much as I cared to without any eye-rolling, literally nothing was better back then than it is now.  And even that can only take you so far.  I don't know if I would watch all 82 games of the 2013-14 season if you paid me my current salary just to do that.  And I can still read books (although at the much slower pace of one and a half pages a night before my eyes start to close) and listen to Death Cab for Cutie when I choose to, although always by myself shamefully with headphones in to avoid ridicule.  I think Transatlanticism still holds up pretty well, though IMHO.

Brief music/Ada tangent: She has a CD player in her room that she enjoys having on while she plays, but it only holds one CD.  So after listening to Contra by Vampire Weekend roughly 4,000 times, I demanded that the CD get changed.  So I went to my CD collection (we had those before The Cloud was invented) and pulled out Give Up by Postal Service.  I explained to Ada that this year was the 10th anniversary of this record and that it was one of the best records of the 2000s.  Ada gave it a brief listen and, because she shares her mother's joy in ridiculing my musical tastes, demanded that it be taken out.  She can listen to Vampire Weekend on loop, but Postal Service did not last a day.  I have not even tried Death Cab because I know it would have the same fate.  Biology says that Ada's DNA is half like mine and half like Kat's, but I think it is much closer to 90-10.  Or Kat has spent thousands more hours with her than I have and has used this time to her advantage.  It's probably both.  Anyway, do not even hum The District Sleeps Alone Tonight near Ada or she will shut you down with a glare.

But that long introduction was merely an ... uh ... introduction to the fact that I have been reading a lot because I have no one else to hang out with while Kat and Ada are in North Carolina.  So I have a lot of recommendations for you.  First, read The Sports Gene by David Epstein.  It's great, but it will make you think about steering you children toward certain sports where they might have some sort of genetic advantage, which may be a bit of a slippery slope.  But the book does an excellent job of demonstrating that heart and grittiness and toughness and Eckstein-ness is important, but the difference between two people with similar heart and grit can come down to body type and natural EPO levels.  Just like Tyler Hamilton's book The Secret Race made it clear that bike racing really came down to watts per kilogram (how much power you could generate from how little weight in your body; the idea being to be thin but have the endurance -- through heightened EPO levels -- to still generate the power over time) many sports come down to whether you have the body type to be able to compete.  If you want to be a top-level distance runner, you should probably be short with long legs (compared to your overall height) and not weigh very much.  This may seem like common-sense, but Epstein shows how even differences of a few pounds or a few inches can have a huge impact.

I still think it is good for kids to play all kinds of sports.  Obviously, I was never going to play sports beyond high school, so I'm glad I got to play them all when I did.  If I had just focused on one sport, I really do not think I would have been appreciably better, and I would have missed out on all of those experiences.  I'm not connected to youth sports these days (by my choice, not court order, mind you), but apparently, in my discussions with people who know things, many kids today choose one sport rather early and then ignore all others.  That seems like a recipe for burnout and just not much fun.  Epstein does not delve too deep into that subject, but he seems to agree that there are not obvious benefits from singular focus on a sport at a young age.

Anyway, I went on too long about that, but I really do think it's an interesting book, whether you like sports or not.  In an entirely different vein, I just finished reading two books that are two variations on the descent into madness: The Disaster Artist and Prisoner of Trebekistan.  The Disaster Artist is the tale of the making of The Room, the worst modern movie ever made, as told by one of the actors, Greg Sestero.  If you have not seen The Room, which sprang from the mind of the extremely strange Tommy Wiseau, it is worth your time and money, if only because it will make you want to say "Oh hi, Mark" and "You are tearing me apart, Lisa," all of the time.  If you have friends named Mark and Lisa it works even better, but it's fun either way.  I think The Room is actually worse than Plan 9 From Outer Space on many levels, although Tommy Wiseau and Ed Wood share some traits.

One of the "interesting" things about Wiseau is that he is so secretive about his background that no one really knows where he is from or how he got his money (which he wasted on making The Room and paying for a billboard in Hollywood advertising the film for five straight years).  Even the author, who spent more time with Wiseau than almost anyone, can only present Wiseau's backstory as a theory as to his origins.  What was personally very interesting for me is that Wiseau, after emigrating from somewhere in Europe, apparently took root in Chalmette, Louisiana, at least according to what he told Sestero.  Wiseau is said to have bagged groceries at Schwegmann's but did not like Chalmette.  During filming of The Room, Wiseau also was known to wear camouflage pants regularly, which leads me to believe that he also wore camouflage pants in Chalmette.  And he had to have purchased those pants somewhere.  And thus, in my mind, there was a time in the late 1980s, when a confused Tommy Wiseau was in the same army surplus store on Paris(h) Road as a confused Jeffrey Gautreaux.  Yes, we crossed paths.  And, I'm going to make a movie about it, even if everyone I know tells me it's a terrible idea and that it's a waste of money and it makes no sense and that if all we did is cross paths in an army surplus store, why are we playing football in tuxedos?  Those are good questions, but I'll show Hollywood.  I'll make my movie.

(Please let at least one of my readers have seen The Room or that last paragraph might have been a waste of typing.  Let me know in the comments.)

That was long, too.  This is what happens when Kat and Ada are not around.  It is just a descent into madness while talking about other people descending into madness.  It's an ouroboros of madness. Anyway, Prisoner of Trebekistan is a book by Bob Harris about his time on Jeopardy.  The game recaps are actually quite tense and exciting, and his explanation of just how hard he worked (and maybe went a little crazy) demonstrates that it takes more than knowing a lot of stuff to succeed at Jeopardy.  For Harris, at various points in his life, Jeopardy was simply a job, and he would go to amazing lengths to recreate the experience as he prepared.  Similar to Moonwalking with Einstein, Harris just shows how much one brain can remember, and it is quite impressive.  If you are a Jeopardy junkie, it is worth a read.  If Jeopardy is just another show to you, it's probably a miss.

Quick Recommendations:
Behind the Mask on Hulu.  It's a documentary series about mascots.  I'm not sure if it's particularly great, but there are some funny moments.
@Midnight.  This is also on Hulu.  It's comedians making fun of people on the Internet.  It's kind of like Tosh.GameShow.  See what I did there?
Aziz Ansari Buried Alive.  This is on Netflix.  It's pretty funny.

OK, I've gone on too long.  No one will get down here.  This is what happens when I'm by myself.  If I were still in that studio apartment in Yuma I would have blogged much more often over the past nine years (probably similar to the drivel above), but I would not be happier.  Even if I could listen to the Postal Service without drawing the ire of a tiny two-year-old dictator, I would not be happier.  Not even close.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

I don't look forward to broken hearts

I haven't blogged in a while, so I have tons to tell my loyal readership.  When I get my new phone I'm going to get an app called "Remember to Blog About ...."  If it doesn't already exist, I'll create it.  But because I don't yet have this app, all of the interesting, insightful things I meant to blog about have already been forgotten.  You are left with only the garbage you are currently reading.

First issue: Is being a parent weird or am I just a weird parent?
Today, Kat, Ada and I were at a birthday party for a 3-year-old.  While the kids were running around, one of the mothers of another kid pointed at Ada and said to me, and the exact words are important here: "Is that yours?"  Now, I know that the generally accepted answer would be yes.  But this question makes me uncomfortable because it makes it sound as though I own Ada.  I prefer to say that she is her own autonomous person but we have a familial relationship.  I have this same difficulty with calling her "my daughter."  I don't own her, and I don't have much of a claim to her other than sharing some DNA.  She does her own thing, and I do mine -- we just happen to spend a lot of time together.

But, having said all that, I responded to that mother by saying, "Well, I don't own her, but we live in the same house."  This made this woman thoroughly confused.  Kat had to reassure this woman that I was actually Ada's biological father and that, no, she should put down her phone and should not call the cops.  This has taught me that there may be no point in trying to explain that yes, I am Ada's dad, but I don't call her mine because she is her own person.  I may have to give in, but it still makes me feel kind of weird.  But my attempts to explain this only lead to people knowing I'm weird.  If anyone has suggestions about how to answer questions about Ada that seem to implicate the Thirteenth Amendment, I am all ears.  For now, I am going to just mumble something and then run away.

Second issue: Football or why I'm glad Ada is a female.
I highly recommend the Frontline episode about the NFL concussion issue called "League of Denial."  I also recommend "Slow Getting Up," a book by former NFL tight end Nate Jackson.  The book explains what it is actually like to play in the NFL if you are not a star and will make you pretty sad throughout.  Another book that will make you sad that is tangentially about football that I "enjoyed" is "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" by Ben Fountain.  The book seems to do a pretty good job of encapsulating what it might be like to fight for the US in a modern war, both in the battlefield and back at home.  Despite its sadness, it actually is pretty funny.

But to get back to League of Denial, 44 of 46 brains of deceased NFL players that have been examined had chronic traumatic encephelopathy (CTE).  And while there is undoubtedly some selection bias in that figure -- after all the players that have healthy brains after playing aren't yet dead -- that is an amazing number.  What is even scarier is that a 21-year-old and an 18-year-old that had played football also were found to have CTE. It seems difficult to say that more research is needed to rule out other causes in light of these statistics.  And yet the games go on.  And I continue to watch.

This is not a blog entry about how I'm giving up watching football.  I still enjoy watching it, and I enjoyed playing it.  But I'm glad that Ada will never ask me to play football, so I don't have to make that choice. Girls can get concussions playing soccer or basketball or any of a number of other sports, but the incidence simply is not the same, despite statements by people who rely on the NFL for their paychecks.  If you read the stories about ex-NFL players or try to watch them go about their daily lives, it is difficult to enjoy football as you once did.  But still, Cowboys against the Washington Professional Football Team (I won't get into that issue right now) should be a good game Sunday night.  I'll be watching, no doubt.

Third issue: Aha!
I also highly recommend "I, Partridge: We Need to Talk About Alan," the memoir of Steve Coogan's unctuous chat-show host character.  It's hilarious and you can really hear the character saying this drivel.  I had read that the audiobook was actually better than the real book, but you can't put an audiobook on a shelf and point at it and say "Aha!"  I'm also excited to see "Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa," the full-length film released this year in the UK that should be released in America next year.  It is a bummer that Netflix Instant does not have any AP, but if you want some Coogan instantly, you can't go wrong with Saxondale or In the Loop.

I'm also reading The Infatuations by Javier Marias.  I think it is good, but I may be too dumb to understand smart people's books.  I read about it in the New York Times Book Review, and I'm working my way through it.  I'll let you know.

Fourth issue: Ada!
She is quite the comedian, even though she does not understand the concept of humor.  I have been trying to teach her a knock knock joke to annoy people with, but she has not caught on quite yet.  I was working on the following:

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Impatient cow.
Impatient co--

She has a ways to go, though.  What is hilarious is when you ask her whether she wants to do something, and she enthusiastically states: "I do!"  But it sounds like "adieu," so I have been trying to teach her to say that when she leaves as well.  Like they say in all of the parenting books: Puns can never start too early!

But while she can be funny, she can also be a little mean sometimes.  And you would think that a 20-pound mass with a low IQ should not be able to hurt an adult's feelings, but when she tells me that I can't play with her, it is a little dispiriting.  It makes me think about the times that I was not so nice to my parents and makes me regret those instances even more.  Ada isn't old enough to tell me she doesn't love me, but I know that will happen in the future because I did the same thing to my parents.  It is simply a part of growing up, I suppose, but it doesn't make me look forward to it.

These other parents (who are so gauche that they call their own children their property!) often say how they want their kids to stay the way they are and stop growing up.  I don't say that because I look forward to Ada getting older and learning new things.  But I don't look forward to fights and arguments and slammed doors.  I don't look forward to the things I did to hurt my parents.  I don't look forward to broken hearts.

But Ada does scores of things every day that help me not worry about the broken hearts.  I'll give you two for free.  One is when we are playing in her room and she goes and shuts the door and says it's "for piracy."  That always makes me laugh The second is when she pretends to cook for me at her play kitchen and says she will make me "me-balls and sawgambi," aka meatballs and spaghetti.  I'll always have these memories, so I don't worry too much.

In the end, I know that I am a weird parent, and I know that I have a weird, wonderful kid.  I hope that I can help her have a great life.  Aha!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

As you probably know from Kat's blog (which is sort of the New York Times to my blog's biannual trailer park newsletter when it comes to getting news first), we went camping this past weekend at Dogtown Lake near Williams, Arizona. It was three families each with a two year old. It went about as you would expect. I'm not sure what I thought going in, but there was no shortage of crying. My plan was that I would be able to blog because camping normally allows sufficient leisure time for such pursuits.  I wrote part of this while I was there, but, as you can see, it did not go up while I was still enjoying the smell of verdant pines.  Also, I tried to type it on my iPad, which meant I had a solid hour of corrections to make anyway.

It was very pretty  at the lake and the weather was great. I'm (still) not very good at sleeping on the ground, but I was not cold. It was nice though to be spending an August day in Arizona and feeling chilly. I'm a big fan of Williams. It has a great golf course. The weather is beautiful. It has nice mountains. It has lakes. It has Rod's Steakhouse. I'm on board with it. Apparently Kat's dad is on board with it, too, although Kat and Kat's mom don't feel the same way.

Although Prescott has some things going for it as well.  After a healthy meal of In-n-Out Burger this evening, I told Kat that you really cannot beat living in Arizona and yet not needing to run your air conditioning in the evening in the middle of August.  Also, the movie theatre in Prescott reopened this week, so I'm no longer living in a two-horse town without any of those newfangled moving pictures.

But let's get to the important stuff: Ada facts, which is my name for news about Ada and the toys that are left strewn all over the house, sometimes to such a degree that you have to sift through them down to lower levels to see the toys she used to play with before moving on to newer, more annoying toys. So, yeah, the Ada facts are these.  She is improving by leaps and bounds. She is able to say complete sentences regularly. She can sing the ABC song with very few mistakes. She can sort of count. And, of course, she's not really interested in hanging out with me. (The other day I asked her if she wanted to go for a walk. She said no. But then when I went to go sit on the couch rather than go for a walk, she complained to Kat that I didn't leave! She wanted me to go for a walk by myself so I would not bother her!).  In short, she is learning quickly. She loves to "play castle" and talk about what the king and queen are doing. She loves to play with her horses, watch horses on television, ride actual horses, and talk about horses. There are a lot of horses in her future. And in my future. And in my bank account's future.

She's also kind of a jerk sometimes. She is definitely experiencing the terrible twos. Some days she fully adheres to the Groucho Marx song "Whatever It Is I'm Against It."  And I'm not really the disciplinarian in the family. Kat regularly says: "Jeffrey, parent."  But since I don't really know how to do that, I can usually get away with just giving Ada a hug and telling her it will be okay.  However, improved parenting skills on my part are probably necessary.

In other news, I recently finished Manifest Injustice by Barry Siegel, which is a recently released book about William Macumber, a man who spent nearly forty years in the Arizona Department of Corrections for a murder he likely did not commit. His release was the culmination of more than a decade of work by the Arizona Justice Project. Sharon Flack, an attorney I work with at the firm, worked on the Macumber case for the AJP while in law school and for many years after.  She plays a prominent role in the book, and though I had worked with her for almost three years, I had no idea she was a part of such an amazing story.  (Although I did start to get an idea when I noticed like twenty copies of the book in her office).  But nevertheless, it is is an excellent book and highly recommended.  Like most books I like, it's not exactly a feel-good beach read, but you will have an appreciation for Mr. Macumber and how he continued to make an impact on the world even while he spent more than half of his life in prison.

I have not blogged or tweeted because I have been busy, but I am going to try to be better about that. There is plenty going on, although my problem is most of it I cannot talk or write about and the rest is often not worth documenting.  Although, as a person who regularly reads deposition transcripts, the fact that something is not worth documenting does not mean that it does not nevertheless get documented.  So even if it might be boring, I'll try to put it down here on digital paper and see if I can make it less so.

Last, Kat and I recently Netflixed "Shut Up and Play the Hits," which is sort of a concert film/documentary about the end of LCD Soundsystem.  I would not call it a good movie, although it was a good final concert.  But my favorite line from my favorite LCD Soundsystem song "All My Friends" is: "If I'm sued into submission, I can still come home to this."  And that is what I think about when I look at the photo below.  That just about no matter what happens, I will always have these two to come home to, and that is a great thing to know.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

There's a science to walking through windows

This might be controversial.  This might place my extensive readership in an uproar.  But I'll say it anyway.  It was easier to be a parent 30 years ago than it is today.  Now before I get a bunch of comments (unlikely but bear with me) about how parents today can use technology to control tiny children (what with iPads and iBlanket and iWouldreallylikeitifyoustoppedcrying) please remember that such technology is a double-edged parenting aid.

Ada has grown rather accustomed to seeing what she wants when she wants.  She will say, in a voice that is deathly serious: "Gabba?"  This means that Yo Gabba Gabba should soon be washing over her in all of its peyote dream glory.  Kat has taken to telling her that "That show is not on right now," but I think Ada has figured out we live in an on-demand world.  She knows that DJ Lance Rock is available at any time, and we cannot pretend otherwise.

If I asked to watch Sesame Street when I was two, my parents could truthfully say it was not on at 4 p.m., but Ada knows she has seen Sesame Street at all hours of the day on various devices.  I do not lie to her.  I explain that yes, we can watch seemingly anything we want online, but we are not going to watch the Muppets right now.

The life of a toddler is one of unmet demands.  But some things are actually on-demand, and this complicates parenting and discipline.  It also complicates my use of my own iPad.  I have to use it in hiding sometimes (like I have a drug problem or something) because if Ada sees it she will say: "Elmo too?" while looking at me in a way that can only be described as "intense yearning."  It's terrible.  And I can't say "Elmo's not on" because it is not true and Netflix has a ton of episodes at the ready.

Anyway, I don't think parenting is going to get easier.  Ada loves sunglasses, so I'm sure she would love Google Glass.  However, she's never going to find out about it.  Because, after all, "Google Glass is not on right now."

Continuing my old-timey rants about "the future," I don't think anyone listens to full musical albums anymore.  It's just singles and YouTube clips and snippets in commercials.  And in my small way I try to rebel against that by trying to take my time with music I care about.  Last weekend I listened to the new The National record "Trouble Will Find Me" while walking the new Centennial Trail, which starts near our house.  I thought it was a great mix of activity and auditory experience that will keep both in my mind for some time.

While I can remember the first time I saw the Gangnam Style video on YouTube, I can't remember the 2nd through 25th times, and this shows the rather disposable state of most music today.  Right now I'm reading "Bruce," a recent biography of Bruce Springsteen.  And it seems that when people were listening to Darkness on the Edge of Town on vinyl for the first time, it was a momentous, near religious, experience.  While there are many artists today whose music is far from momentous, there still are many bands that can deliver that sort of punch.

For me, The National definitely delivers on that level.  While they are sonically different from the Boss, I think lyrically they are just as interesting.  And clearly they both share an attention to detail and thirst for perfection that can make recording sessions stretch for months.  If you get an opportunity, at least listen to "Graceless," by The National, which is my current obsession.  Although the prior paragraphs were in support of listening to the entirety of the work of the artist, just give that one a listen.  If you like it, there is plenty more where it came from.

I'm enjoying the Springsteen book.  I've always been impressed by the sheer magnitude of the shows he and the E Street Band would put on.  While I never got to see one (and the Dancing in the Dark video is not all that accurate), I can appreciate that kind of effort.

My favorite Springsteen song: Atlantic City off of Nebraska, another album that you should listen to throughout and celebrates one of my home states claims to fame: psychotic murderers.  Well, that and football.

OK, that's all.  Remember, it's the side effects that save us.

Sunday, April 28, 2013


I had a nice birthday today.  And, of course, a nice anniversary as well.  The past six years with Kat have been six of the best of my 32 years.  If I had to rank them, all six would probably win the top ten.  But as this is not Bleacher Report, I don't think I actually have to rank them.

Kat and I were trying to get Ada to wish me a happy birthday, but all she would say is "happy cake." She has conflated birthdays with cake, which is not necessarily inaccurate.  I'm it optimistic that Ada will understand things by June 22, but she does learn pretty quickly.

My birthday weekend had far more bodily fluids than I would normally prefer.  Ada and Kat were both sick, and I have not felt perfect either.  However, it was still fun to be together.  Soon we will be sick together in a new house, which is also an exciting development.

This past week someone at my twice weekly 6 am basketball game asked me how old I was.  I said I was going to turn 32, which meant, according to all the sabermetric research I had ever read, my prime was now over.  Even though I'm out of my prime and the best I can hope for is a one or two year contract, I'm still excited about the future.  Part of me thinks that, all joking aside, i am getting kind of old, but I like how each new year brings new adventures and challenges.

Fitting in with this theme, I have been reading "Why Does the World Exist" by Jim Holt.  It's sort of like an intro course to philosophy and epistemology, but it is pretty enjoyable.  As the universe is believed to be about 14 billion years old, 32 years is a pretty minor sliver, but I prefer knowing about my minor sliver to having no idea.  I don't know why the world exists or why I have gotten these 32 years, but I'll take it over the alternative.  I love Kat and Ada, and I look forward to many more years with them.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Some Thoughts on Child Rearing

Although I would not recommend it, one could go back and reread all of the blogs I have posted on this blog and others and would find that the only real theme in my posts is that I only come to understand the actions of others and myself long after those actions have occurred.  This was pithily summed up on a wall hanging in my grandparents' bathroom that said:

You are too soon old and too late schmart.

This wall hanging contained the accumulated wit and wisdom of hard-working Baueren und Landwirte from Deutschland.  Because it was in the bathroom, I had plenty of opportunities to read it, and it has stuck.  And now that Ada is around, it is more true than ever.

But, notwithstanding the fact that I learn everything too late, here are a few nuggets I have picked up as a parent.

People say it is impressive that babies can pick up language so easily, but, in reality, it is their lives that are so easy and this makes learning language simple.  If an adult did not have to do anything all day -- including feeding one's self and dealing with bodily functions -- I know that adult could learn French in no time.  I have gone over scores of words with Ada REPEATEDLY and she is only now getting them.  Babies are great, but let's not go too far.

That said, Ada is doing very well with learning English. (She is doing terribly at learning German!  I tell her each day: Ich heisse Ada. Wie gehts?  But nothing sticks!)  Anyway, I heard her say her first complete sentence to me the other day, which, unsurprisingly, was a critique of my parenting skills.  While I was carrying her to the grocery store, she clearly said: "I can walk." I immediately put her down, at which point, she tried to run into traffic.  She is duplicitous, but I like it.

During that same trip, I put her in a shopping cart that has a little "car" on the front of it.  She enjoyed it, but even when we were done, she would not get out.  She was just sitting in it in a cart corral.  I was stymied in luring her out, so I had to tempt her with pizza.  That worked, but then I had to buy her pizza.  She is duplicitous, but I like it.

I took her swimming yesterday, and she did very well with going under water.  In the past, she had cried, but she was learning to close her eyes and mouth while under.  I was relating this to Kat later, and I said that I was able to hold her under water for up to a second without getting any crying on re-entry.  Kat was a bit, to use her word,"judgy" about me holding Ada under water, but I told her I just want to "stretch" Ada.  We'll see if Child Services understands what it means to "stretch" a child.

Even though I clearly am a first-class parent, there are some quandaries for which even I have no answer.  One that currently bedevils me is the proper response when people think Ada is a boy.  This happened three separate times yesterday at the library and happens regularly.  I think Ada clearly looks like a girl, but I can also remember many times in my life when I looked at babies and was not sure.  My technique was to use non-gender specific language to refer to the child, like "What a cute baby!" or "Look at that little monster" or "It's Pat!"  Other people, however, are not doing that.  I'd like Ada to be as tough as any boy, but I'd also like her to be referred to properly.  My technique is to just ignore this rather than correct people.  But I do not know if this is good or not.

Other impressive Ada feats: stacking things up and then saying "Too high" as it falls down; falling down the stairs; helping us buy a new house; watching the Muppets very intently, and, my personal favorite, drumming perfectly in time whenever Proud Mary by CCR is played.

I like watching the old Muppets shows with Ada. Some of it was pretty subversive.  Yesterday, Ada and I watched as Peter Sellers, in a not-even-thinly veiled impersonation of Nazi doctor Josef Mengele (complete with Hitler mustache) gave an evil massage to an unwitting pig.  It was hilarious and disturbing.  Ada now knows more about World War II, though, so I think it was helpful.

The uninteresting foregoing stores are all very reminiscent of what happens when there is a comedian that you like who has children and then his or her entire set is now about babies.  Everyone hates that, but I have fallen prey to the same disease.  I know people came to this blog to read my sharp takes on the world of sports or the books I'm reading, but now its Ada Ada Ada.  I hear you loud and clear, and the rest of the blog will be thankfully Ada-free.

College basketball is basically backyard fights at this point.  I don't think it is even watchable.  However, for some reason, my opinion that the NBA is in absolutely every way superior is not accepted by many people I meet.  If a certain baby I know and I end up watching college basketball (like if the remote breaks) I remind this certain baby that this is an inferior brand of basketball, but, you know, any port in a storm.

But I filled out an NCAA bracket nevertheless.  My theory for the bracket was that the most annoying storylines are bound to happen, so I need to predict them in advance.  This was the thought experiment: What is the most grating thing that Jim Nantz could repeat ad nauseam until I want to stab my own ears and eyes?  I decided it has to be Indiana winning the title as Nantz tells me for the thousandth time that Tom Crean is Jim and John Harbaugh's brother-in-law and that the Harbaughs faced each other in the Super Bowl (because, of course, I forgot that).  The Super Bowl was even on CBS this year, so it all fits in a beautiful, terrible way.  So when you are seeing repeated Harbaugh crowd shots, remember who told you first. 

My bracket is doing terribly, however.  I thought an Indiana-Butler regional final would be really annoying (and thus occur) because it's an in-state battle, would have constant Brad Stevens pharmaceutical mentions, Harbaugh crowd shots, past Butler near misses, and blah, blah, blah.  Well, that is not happening, but a man can nightmare, can't he?

Shout-out to Owen Gautreaux, the manliest Gautreaux yet.

I'm reading The Help because I'm a Midwestern housewife in 2008 apparently.  It's been a long slog.  If only I had someone to assist me in finishing it.  Oh well.