Archive for September, 2012

Cheers!

About a year and a half ago, Mothers’ Day 2011 to be exact, I was having a lovely brunch with AO and his family in Milwaukee. The conversation was light and fun and everyone was in a great mood. Apropos of nada, one of AO’s cousins, who was seated next to me, declared, “Cheers is really funny show.” I nearly spit out my coffee. Cousin turns to me and says, “It is.” I pulled myself together and nearly said, “Duh,” but I think I managed to stammer something more polite, like, “I agree.” Turns out, though, I hadn’t really realized how much younger than I this lovely cousin is. She didn’t grow up with the show like I had; she had not previously been exposed to it. So, she was coming late to the party. Nevertheless, she quickly realized how awesome the party was.

AO has had us watching episodes of Cheers lately – we started with the pilot – and it really is just as hilarious today as it was back in 1982. Ok, I admit I don’t really remember watching it in 1982, but I do remember watching a whole lot of Cheers growing up. The show aired from 1982 until 1993 so, for me, that was from second grade until my senior year of high school. I literally did grow up with the show.

Not too long ago, the GAOOG did some work for James Burrows (Nathan v. Nurture, which sadly did not get off the ground) and I immediately thought of Cheers. The show really left an indelible imprint on my mind. Not surprisingly, pretty much everyone else feels the same way. There are lots of gems in this article (done conversation-style), but one of my favorites is this:

Kurt Vonnegut (from a 1991 interview): I would rather have written Cheers than anything I’ve written.

Also, this gem (the first two parts are noteworthy, but the last one is pretty hilarious):

Shawn Ryan: I don’t get a sense that Cheers is revered the way it should be by [younger viewers]. Seinfeld andFriends and The Simpsons are probably that generation’s touchstones. In my mind, it’s a show that should always, always, always be in the pantheon. But can it ever mean to future generations what it meant to us? When something changes TV, it’s hard to look back on it, decades later, and appreciate that change.

Casey: David [Isaacs] teaches a writing class down at USC, and I speak at his class each semester. For a lot of kids, Cheers isn’t even on their radar.

Staley: I have a son who’s almost 19, and I don’t think he’s ever seen an episode. He asked me recently if it was in black and white. It was like, “Jesus Christ.”

Swoon

The GAOOG is about to get HUGE. So damn happy for her. And excited for all of us! We get a shiny new medical drama!

Help! The crib bedding is driving me batty!

I wish I had realized how important the crib bedding was going to be to me before I registered for any. Or bought any. Because frankly, I am now obsessed with how to fix what I perceive as a major flaw in Bear’s bedroom. Moving Bear into our room has been great. For the most part. The only real downside? Yes. You guessed it. Or, I guess, I already told you. It’s the bedding. Dear God, please help me come to some sort of resolution about this. I need to move on to other parts of life that need tending to. I simply can’t look at bedding anymore.

When Bear was living in the living room or, rather, when Bear’s stuff was living in the living room (Bear lived just as much in our room and on the dining room table and in her swing as much as she lived in the living room), we had these sheets on her crib and these changing pad covers on her changing pad. We had the blue dots and the pink dots for both the crib and as the cover. As you may remember, though, these kinda worked because the whole room was a million different colors. We were using this rug, for crying out loud. It worked. Or at least I declared it did.

Fast forward to Bear in her new room. Bear’s new room is painted this color because that was the color I asked AO to paint our bedroom (and I love it) and AO made it pretty clear he was not interested in repainting it. I actually love, love, love the color, but it changed the way Bear’s stuff looked. Her white crib and changing table really pop now, and her yellow lamp and radio make more of a statement. The way her room looked started to bug me because I no longer liked the mish-mash; it looked thoughtless instead of creative. I decided I needed to put a palette together. Obviously I would need to use a bold and dark blue, as well as a sunny yellow. I then added some gray to pick up the pouf. I threw in a dash of aqua and white.

I started with bedding and I started with fervor. I ordered pieces from this set. It was on back order, which bummed me out. As the weeks passed, I started to worry I had chosen wrong. I thought, “Maybe that yellow isn’t quite right. Maybe there’s too much gray. Will it relate to the blue?” Eventually, I called Land of Nod and asked them not to send it. I was told, though, that some pieces had just shipped. The kind customer service rep told me, though, that if I didn’t like it, they’d be glad to take it back for free, as it was an item off of my registry (yes, I stuck it on that registry post-baby). That sounded more than reasonable. My next steps, though? Not so much. The bedding came and we used it and I slowly began to realize it was all wrong. It’s really cute, but the yellow is way too deep mustard and doesn’t relate to the sunny yellow tones the way I wanted it to. Damn. It. I decided to sit with it, though, because what else was I going to do. [Answer: see the first paragraph in this post.]

I moved on.

After consultation with the GAOOG, I decided the next thing that needed to change was the rug. GAOOG declared the rug rug non grata and I had to agree. It’s way cute, but it was throwing everything off with its pink and red and orange shapes. I swapped in this. We already had one in the room from when it was in our bedroom (in the smaller size) so adding a bigger one seemed like it made sense. I think it does. It’s probably a little weird, but the whites look nice with the blue walls and blonde bamboo floors. Plus, I think Bear likes the way it feels.

The next challenge was storage. The Target boxes I bought fit perfectly into the Ikea bookshelf but they were not going to work with my new color scheme. I looked and looked but couldn’t find anything out there that was both the right size and right color. My usual suspects weren’t giving me anything I could use. After waiting it out for a bit, though, Land of Nod revealed with these numbers. It’s like they knew I was struggling and decided to throw me a bone. They’re so sweet. I ordered a couple in yellow and aqua, and one in blue. I also ordered this awesome mcawesome thing in yellow to hide all of Bear’s diaper-related accoutrements and two of these for the actual diapers and wipes and covers. Ta da! Blue and yellow all over! Bear is showing her West High allegiance early and often.

Having solved the storage and rug issues, I find myself back to square one on the bedding. Well, not exactly square one. I’m out whatever I paid for the Land of Nod stuff (I may try to sell it) and I’m still not quite sure what to do. I’ve been in major Etsy consultation mode, looking specifically at these options. And these. And these. But I can’t seem to pull the trigger. I am now a serious crib-bedding-phobe. I realize I brought it on myself, but that doesn’t change the diagnosis.

I think I’ve made a very strong showing that I need serious help. Please, Dear Reader, help me.

I’m definitely not a professor

As you may know, Dear Reader, I recently entered the hallowed world of academia. It is a world full of towers tiled in ivory and walls dripping with ivy. Cardigans, and a sense of self-importance, are mandatory in this world. Shoulders feel heavy as overstuffed heads sit atop them. Everything within this world is deeply meaningful while everything without it is trite.

Just kidding. I love academia. Plus, I’m teaching at the law school, which many academic types, and non-academic types, would consider vocational anyway. And then, on top of that, I’m teaching legal writing, which doesn’t lend itself to philosophical thought. Legal writing is all about being concrete, clear, reasoned and concise. Or at least my legal writing course is.

Anyway, I’ve been both excited and nervous about this new adventure of mine. I’ve always wanted to teach, but I’ve also always dreaded public speaking so I wasn’t sure how I would fare. I think it’s too early to tell, but I felt good about the first class and I’m relieved to have one under my belt. I hope I get just more comfortable.

A few weeks ago, I attended a meeting at the law school with other lawyers who were preparing to teach this same class. There were five male instructors and me (there are two other women who are instructors but I guess they were not able to attend this meeting) and we were told, from the director of the program and her assistant, about the goals of the course and how the semester should proceed. During a short break, I asked the fellow seated next to me — who had taught the course several times — how the students addressed him. He said that they call him Professor Smith (well, not Smith, but his actually last name, which I’m not going to use here). He said he begins the first class by introducing himself as Jack Smith (again, not really his name) and signs every email he sends them ‘Jack.’ Nevertheless, the students insist on calling him Professor Smith. He says it happens in every class, every semester. Hmm. Ok, I thought, that’s what I’ll do. I’ll just introduce myself and sign my emails ‘Kate.’ We’ll see what happens.

Yesterday I got to my classroom about twenty minutes before class was to start. After about five minutes of struggling with the AV equipment, a young woman opened the door to the classroom and asked if I was Professor _____ (except she said my last name). I surprised myself by not hesitating and answering, ‘Yes.’ She then relayed to me that two students were going to be absent because they both had interviews. Ok, that’s fine, I said. A couple of other students started to trickle in, some again asking if I was Professor ________. I was getting accustomed to answering quickly and affirmatively. Once I started class, though, I proceeded as I had planned, introducing myself as Kate ______. The students introduced themselves and I introduced the course. We moved on to a short essay-writing exercise I had them do and then, if they chose to do the exercise on their laptops (all but one did), I had them email me their essays. They almost all emailed them to me with the body of the email starting, “Professor ______.” One said, “Hey Professor _______.” A little informal, I thought, but that’s cool.

A little later, I wrote an absurdly long and overwritten sentence on the blackboard (I couldn’t figure out the AV equipment) and asked them to get into groups of three and figure out how to reduce the sentence to something more manageable and clear, while keeping the elements necessary to convey its message. As they were working on this, I heard, “Hey Kate, can you step to the side. We can’t see part of the board.” I quickly moved.

And then I looked at the clock. I hadn’t even been a professor for an hour.