Cold. Sudden sharp hard empty cold: and snow! Flurries around 1:30 or so. Not much – just a few flakes thrown around by the wind, but the first of the season. Winter is like that: it takes possession in a day. Spring always seems to spend its time laying out the argument. Winter just takes.

Aside from that, a fine day. Since (G)Nat had the day off from school for no good, stated, explicit reason, I worked from home. But she got restless, so I promised a trip to Caribou coffee up the street for hot chocolate. She drank, I used the wireless to write a post. When we left it was snowing again. I HATE SNOW, she declared, a perfectly sensible reaction. But you have to play Mr. Glass Half Full, Albeit Frozen, role model; I listed the virtues of snow, the pleasures of Christmas, the way the seasons dress the world in an ever-changing costume, and ahh, you’re right, kid. Who am I kidding.

She wanted to rent an Xbox game, and I said she could play a little after she’d read her book, cleaned the mess in the family room and done her piano. I could have added “split the atom and invent a new name for the color Puce,” and she would have agreed. You’re the greatest, Dad. When I was hooking up the Xbox I turned in such a certain way I was not supposed to turn, and lit up a series of nerves in my back; I could almost see them illuminated for a second, as if by a flash of lightning. For the next few hours I walked around taking shallow breaths, because dang and a half plus change, that hurt. I’m sure it has something to do with being hunched over various keyboards all day. Sometimes you think your body is just waiting for you to do something stupid. Then it pounces. You’re not the boss of me. Uh – aren’t we in this together? Says you! I applied some Pain Relief Cream – spreadable aspirin, more or less; Bayer Mayo – and it did the trick.

So, it was back to hunching over keyboards again.

If you’ll permit a few more Kane moments: I watched it again with the Ebert commentary tonight while scanning and sorting and printing and unpacking, and something caught my eye at the end. It’s the great swoop over Kane’s loot. The camera rests here:

Our eye falls on the sled, either because we’ve seen the movie before and we know what it is, or because someone enters the frame almost immediately and takes it away. If you look to the right of the frame, you see the picture of Kane and his mother. But look in the box.

There’s something unsettling about that arrangement. You could say that the monkey represents the bestial state to which Kane was reduced by women – but he wasn’t, really, was he? That one tantrum aside. No, the monkey has his arm around the female doll, as if to take her away or keep her from him.

I went looking through the movie for the doll, and found her: it’s the scene in which Kane’s wife leaves him.

The monkey might refer to the creatures we see in the opening scenes of the movie as we approach Xanadu. As Ebert’s commentary track notes, you can make a game of finding the various props as they appear and reappear in the movie, so I’m sure I’m not the first. But it’s one the reasons I have to watch the movie every few years.  There isn’t another movie I enjoy this much or could watch again so many times. Except for Star Trek II: the Wrath of Kahn.

Hah: that fits together nicely, doesn’t it? Combine them into one film. The Wrath of Kane.

Parenthood, con’t. (G)Nat lost a tooth. And I mean, lost it: the tooth fell out Sunday, but she didn’t put it under her pillow that night. Today she lost it. I think I’m to blame, since I saw something small and white on the table after dinner and swept it into the garbage. You can guess what that meant: sorting through the garbage for a tiny white shard. Sifting through the cast-off pasta. Sifting through the coffee grounds. Eventually we struck a deal: she would write a note explaining it all to the Tooth Fairy, who would understand such things. But the tooth fairy didn’t know I lost it last night and she didn’t leave anything. Well, there wasn’t anything under the pillow. A note will explain everything. No it won’t. If it doesn’t, I’ll double the usual amount. Deal? That worked.

Moments like these remind you that this little person with whom you spend your days, with whom you have all sorts of discussions theoretical, scientific, theological and artistic, still believes in the Tooth Fairy.

Scans of work recently unearthed by a friend and passed along. It’s Gastroanonolies-related, since they’re old food pamphlets. Great 50s modern commercial art:

The discoloration was caused by the sun, perhaps – which meant this book sat undisturbed for a long, long time. Then there’s this: 500 Tasty Sandwiches presents 500 Tasty Sandwiches!

The old ever-popular green-rods smothered in cow bile. But the #1 surreal-o-meal can be viewed on this Hotpoint cover, which features that famous delicacy, Albino Brain Altar:

More to come later this week, and of course you can see ten tons of this stuff in the pages of Gastroanomolies! Order now. New Funnies addition - and I'll see you at