Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Adventure of the Mummy's Eyeball

Mia hated the dance rehearsal. I mean, my lord. She performed all her moves hunched over, arms dangling like a gorilla, and half the time she literally had her tongue hanging out and her eyes half-closed. It was kind of embarrassing. She blamed it on being tired, but as soon as we got out of there she perked right up. I don't know if I should let her off the hook on this one or if I should make her go through with it, so that she knows when she commits to something she's going to have to follow through.

Anyway, today she told me some disturbing news about Reading Rainbow. Or -- maybe -- she has an active imagination. In any case, she told me that today her class watched a Reading Rainbow special on mummies.

"Mummies?" I said.

"Yeah, and then we dug a mummy hole in the playground and we actually found one!"

"My goodness. Was it gross?"

"No Daddy, it's just a mummy. But we found its eyeball, and that was pretty gross!"

"You found the mummy's eyeball?"

"Yeah, DJ found it!"

"Was he scared?"

"No, but I was. I said, DJ, put that eyeball down!"

"I hope he washed his hands."

"He didn't have to, because the eyeball was fragile."

"It was?"

Exasperated: "Yes Daddy, dead people are fragile! Duh!"

Here I started laughing. "They are, are they? How do you know this?"

"Reading Rainbow told me! Duh!"

I'm going to have to write a harsh letter to the folks at Reading Rainbow. Running specials about mummies and encouraging excavations is one thing, but teaching our children that dead people are fragile!? Come on. Those guys can take some serious punishment before they start to fall apart.

(I swear to God I don't let her watch my horror movies!)

Saturday, May 06, 2006

In Which I Dance

Or rather, in which I prepare to rehearse. Tomorrow is the first rehearsal of the Daddy-Daughter Dance, part of Mia's upcoming ballet recital in which -- you guessed it -- daddies dance with their daughters. Those of you who know me will certainly recognize the comic potential. I don't know what to expect, but I am fairly certain I will not actually have to perform ballet. As long as I am not expected to do much more than shuffle lazily about, I should be fine. There might be pictures. If so, they will be destroyed.

I recently finished reading Kevin Brockmeier's The Brief History of the Dead, and was disappointed. I'd go into the specifics, but it's easier for me to link to Matt Cheney's review over at The SF Site; I agree with most of what he says, although I think he's a bit more forgiving than I am.

I've since started reading Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe's Rifles. I've heard Cornwell's name pretty frequently as an example of good historical adventure fiction, but somehow managed not to read him until now. I'm about halfway through the book and it's a blast. It's not up there with Patrick O'Brian's astonishing Aubrey-Maturin novels, but then again I've just started. We'll see.

I also picked up Hal Duncan's Vellum, which I can't wait to start. Up until I started reading Duncan's posts on the Night Shade Boards, I thought my friend Neal Stanifer was the smartest person I knew. I guess that's still technically true since I don't know Hal Duncan, but damn ... I'd love to hear them debate ethics. In a steel cage. Two men go in. One man comes out!

Also: John Crowley has a blog! Why was I not informed!?