Ah, let’s see. What peeve have I left unpoked, what minor interest uninflated to assume the proportions of something truly significant? What piece of paper flotsam have I left unscanned? I think I’ve done it all. It’s Thursday, but it feels like Friday – Gnat has no school tomorrow. The spring break has begun, and we don’t have to get up tomorrow for the bus. She’s staying up a bit late; I’m watching the last “Rome” on Thursday instead of Friday night. Why, everything’s topsy-turvy! The world’s turned upside down! Might as well stick a feather in your cap and call it macaroni.

Never understood that as a kid, but I accepted it. Yankee Doodle was silly, so he thought his feather was cheese-drenched pasta. Of course, it meant something different; the Macaronis were fashionable young men who’d been to Italy and picked up Continental Affectations; famous dandies given to peering with exaggerated longeur through glasses mounted on a stick, they were regarded as amusing fops by real men. So when Mr. Doodle thought a feather made him a member of the Macaroni Society, it just showed what a provincial hick he was. I loved learning that. It made the past seem so much more real in a brief and vivid way – until then, perhaps, I didn’t think they had slang.

An ordinary day. Finally set up the Apple TV. It was a bit disconcerting to see the list of available networks to join – two of them weren’t mine. My neighbors, I presume, but dang: they must have whamdigious signals, because it’s not as though we’re all cheek-to-jowl around here. I sent in two columns, did some prep work for next week, then sat outside on a large stone in the neighbor’s yard, waiting for the bus, listening to Leibowitz. Gnat bounced off the bus with a grin: she’d gotten all ten spelling words correct. Well, then, let us take ourselves to Caribou Coffee and have hot chocolate.


Really. She showed me the books she’d checked out: two slim volumes about a girl who can turn her pony into a unicorn with a magic incantation. Talk about hitting the demographic sweet spot. I noted that the girl was riding the unicorn without restraints or a helmet. “Why, if she should stop suddenly, she’d pitch forward. She could put her eye out on that horn.”


I think the government should insist there be corks on all unicorn horn-points.


Okay, fine, wallow in your dangerous literature, then.

We did a find-the-item picture, which we always do on the last day of school. Some are easy. Some are quite challenging. They all have the same items, though: sailboat, bell, toothbrush, needle, pie. It always comes down to that one last item you can’t find, and you always wonder if it’s really there. It could be the artist’s little joke. Oh, you can’t find the paper airplane? Well, I can’t find my youthful dreams of success in the world of fine arts, so I guess we’re even now, aren’t we? Then we went to the video store. Yes, I have Netflix. But there’s something to be said for the middle shelf of also-ran underheralded films starring nobodies acting their hearts out, looking for breakout success. Like “Rocky Balboa.” Gnat chose a Pokemon movie, because they’re So Cute, then wandered along behind me. I moved quickly, lest she have her dreams populated by the horrible pictures. So many movies with knives and madmen. I enjoy a good scary movie, but gore bores me. These movies prod the same gland as the gladiator games, except you don’t even get a good tan while you watch.

Then the grocery store. I got all her favorites. Why not? Spring break was upon us, so let the fishsticks tumble down without end. Pop-Tarts! But not the chocolate kind. No chocolate for breakfast. Firm I am on these measures. (Oh: the video store has big quotes from famous movies on the wall, and I swear: Gnat read Obi-Wan’s quote aloud as “Let the Force With You Be.” Begun, the Yoda impersonation has.) Home. Sixteen minute nap. Up to make fish, which has made the house smell like someone swabbed the walls with sturgeon guts. Did the Hewitt show; I came after Podhoretz, and was unable to challenge directly his recent castigation of “Lost” on the Corner. I must have suffered some sort of stroke of the critical faculties, because I continue to enjoy the show. I apologize. Hugh asked me about the decision to make the Tilt-A-Whirl the official state midway ride, and let me just say:

And now back to work. Thanks for visiting this week. Oh, right: there’s a Diner. Here’s the link to the iTunes version; here’s the MP3. Flash version next week. Have a fine weekend!