Thursday, December 27, 2007

All Roads Lead To Liza Minelli ** edited to add video!

* I added a video that showcases Screamy McScreamalot, otherwise known as Avery. That screaming is what she did all through the museum yesterday! The video is at the end of this post!

Somehow last night in an insomniac haze I ended up youtubing Liza Minelli and Judy Garland. It may seem random, but if you looked at my web page history you would see how one page begat another until it all sort of lead to Liza Minelli. My evening ended with this gem
which is three-and-a-half minutes of jaw-dropping, cringe-inducing camp. I have never seen anything like it in my life. I wish I could erase it for Liza, so that she might sleep better at night, knowing that embarrassment is wiped out.

If the internet existed when I was in high school or college, I don’t think I would have graduated. In college, I can see myself sitting in classes with a laptop, surfing the web off of some non-password protected wireless connection while pretending to be listening to the professor. Or texting bad influences to make later-day plans. Clandestinely watching movies on my iPod while ignoring a slide presentation. Going back to my room and youtubing music videos all night long, or until I went out. I would have been so distracted that I wouldn’t graduate.

College for me was internet-less and practically computer-less. I had a giant desktop Mac LC with a 40 MB hard drive, I think. My iPod is bigger than that. I played Kid Pix on it, which is the most basic of all drawing programs. I had a phone in my dorm, no cell phone or Blackberry, and I never got a pager, which was all the rage back in the go-go 90s. If I wanted to make plans with someone I had to go to the dorm room and knock on their door. If they weren’t there, I left a note or told their roommate to pass on my message. I kept in touch with friends with letters that I retrieved from a mailbox. I had stationary. I was an editor at the college paper and layout was literally just that: Cut and paste and lay out the boards that were picked up by a printer ‘round midnight.

I can’t argue that progress hasn’t been made and many times for the better but it makes me a little sad because 1.) I feel ancient and 2.) sometimes the old way is the better way. It makes me sad that my girls won’t know what a phone ring sounds like. The bring-bring, honest-to- goodness, old-fashioned phone ring sound. They’ll think all phones sound like My Humps or In Da Club. They won’t know Donkey Kong or Pitfall or King’s Quest or Ms. Pac-Man, the world’s greatest game ever. On the other hand, I am glad they don’t know the horrors of smoking sections on planes and trains and in theaters and bars and restaurants. And they don’t have to live in a world without Jet Blue or Tivo.

Speaking of Tivo, I don’t think we have had the television on for about two weeks. I watch the morning news and then it is off till the next day. There is nothing on. Nothing.

Today I took the girls to the Museum of Modern Art and it was a success, if you consider two babies not screaming a success. First of all, I don’t know what crack I was smoking but I thought the city would be empty, ergo, the museum would be empty. I walked over to the museum, about a ten-minute walk from home, and was shocked to see a line to get in. It was drizzling and a little windy and some MOMA worker saw me and took pity on me and told me to just go inside and buy my tickets at the information desk. She even walkie-talkied someone to let them know I needed help with the door. The lobby was packed with hundreds of people waiting on line to check their coats. Suckers! What they needed was a stroller, a.k.a personal valet.

We’ll go back again because it was fun (for me) and very stroller accessible. And the girls probably liked looking at something other than the carpet in our living room. Avery used the entire visit to practice her Scream. We would be in a little gallery, looking at a picture with twenty other museum-goers, and Avery would let out a loud, random, high pitch scream. And the just look around the room and smile at anyone who made eye contact with her. It was cute, but maybe not so cute to others. I have The Scream on video, but I have to figure out how to upload the damn thing to Blogger.

The day before, my sister-in-law and I took the girls and Leif and Skye to Toys R Us to ride the giant ferris wheel. Another ridiculous experience. I don’t know where my brain is these days, thinking that these will be stress-free activities. Apparently, the entire population of Rhode Island was in the store and there was an hour and a half wait to ride the thing, so I had to break it to Leif that we wouldn’t be doing it because that is too long to wait. This, of course, after building up the ferris wheel and telling him on the walk over how fun and special it will be. This will probably be his first memory, my broken promise.

The lesson here: NYC is mobbed after Christmas. Mobbed. Packed with people traveling in packs and walking four abreast. Don’t people want to spend Christmas at home?

Has anyone read this book? I read it years ago and picked it up again because it has such a powerful narration and an unforgettable main character. I like the title, Pretty Is As Pretty Does. The voice it unforgettable. I can't put it down. It is about small towns and racism and a love affair. I am pleasure delaying the last few chapters because once it ends, all I have on the top of my reading pile are books I don't feel like reading. I can totally visualize this book as a movie. I wonder why no one has bought the rights?

Pictured above, a portrait of the three of us on a blue screen….look at Avery’s hair! So spikey. And a picture of Avery and I in the reflection of an Airstream. And my favorite piece in the museum. Don’t know why, but I loved it. Two simple lines, a little askew, on paper. You might see four lines, but I see two lines that make four. Just my perspective. Yes, that old adage applies, the one that you hear in modern art museums around the world, the one that makes artists everywhere cringe: My child could have done this or I could have done it myself. But I didn’t do it and maybe that is why I am so drawn to it. So simple and obvious but no one did it till the 1950s. I wanted to take it off the wall and hide it in the stroller.


Anonymous said...

I kind of see it as three lines. :)

nailgirl said...

That is some scream that she has there. I have never read that book but will def pick it up now, Thanx. I didn't make it halfway through the liza thing blech.

Anonymous said...

I love the cheeky face after the scream, and Maddie's look of utter disbelief...'What is she interrupting my meal for?!'

Anonymous said...

{was shocked to see a line to get in}...

It's not's just that you're not in tune with SCHOOL VACATIONS. Swear to god, once the girls are in school you'll be so tuned in it's like a background hum. You will anticipate exactly and uncannily just what the rest of the parenting population is doing at that exact moment in the school year, and you'll know just what to do to avoid the mind-numbing/forehead slapping DUH moments. I promise.

No one gave me the helpful hint that the third week of Feb, also known as WINTER BREAK is a totally, absolutely, cringe-at-the-memory WRONG time to go to Disney. They don't tell ya that in the Mom Manual. Airline ticket prices should have been my next clue..high demand, low supply of seats. Can you say DUH, everyone?! I know, I know! I should know better!

Well, now that I am fully in tune with the school calendar like the sea is with the full moon, I've gotten it!

psapph0 said...

How funny... we call one of our cats "Screamy McScreamsalot!" Can't wait to meet the little ones next week!


I might be smoking from the same crack pipe- I am also shocked that this place is mobbed. Don't new yorkers go away for the holidays?

Last night, coming home for work, in the rush of theater madness- I cut off a guy in a wheel-a-chair. Scary.

MOMA has great programs for young children. Great video.

Wes said...

GMB and I were at Rock Center last night at 5:30 to run to a store and it was so incredibly packed that the cops had the street closed off as if it was the Thanksgiving parade.
I was an idiot to think it wouldn't be crowded. I assumed that since I wasn't at work, midtown would be empty. I guess we're both smoking crack.

Anonymous said...

Those girls ARE beautiful!!