Friday, July 16, 2010

iLove my iPod

Somehow I survived an impossible Dark Age after my iPod Touch drowned in coffee. But the Renaissance has come! To my astonishment, a new one arrived at my workplace, utterly unexpected. But I knew right away who must have sent it: my generous dad!

I once again have my alarm clock, Scrabble board, calendar, koi pond, Kindle, music player, newspaper, and flashlight.

How did I make it  for so long without one?

How does anyone?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Book cub = WIN

Well, I did it! Eight people around a big table at my apartment, chattering, pouring wine, eating Frogmore stew, snacking on date nut bread, desserting on plum cake, talking about the book...

It was fun! It's always fun.

Thanks, everyone! And thanks for taking pictures, Beth!

Here's a picture from last time, too. I love this one. We're just cool.

It looks like a band photo, doesn't it?

Look for Book Club's new album! In stores now!

Friday, July 9, 2010

My new office takes shape

There they are - the skeletons of Aaron's and my new offices. His is closest to the picture taker; mine is beyond it, just before the carpeting turns to linoleum or whatever that stuff is called.


My own office!

I can sit in there and look very important and say things like, "I'm actioning that!"

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Connected again!

Forgive me, you guys. This time I had an excuse. My wireless router has been in its death throes for weeks, and finally it died. Could I have sat cross-legged in the corner of my living room where the cable modem is and go online via a plugged connection? I suppose. But I didn't. I like to be comfy on my couch.

All set now. I bought one of those idiot-proof Cisco "Valet" wireless routers and it was an immediate, unbroken, speedy, and perfect wireless connection the minute I plugged it in. Ahhhh.

So - what have I been doing?

I'm still mourning my iPod Touch, but it's been good for me to stop peering at that tiny screen all the time. (This is not to say that I will not buy one again eventually - believe me. I became too addicted to it to imagine a permanent life without it.)

Scott and I went camping last weekend for the first time in two years. It was wonderful. We got incredibly filthy and grimy after two days of camping, then went to the Frederik Meijer Sculpture Gardens in all our aromatic glory. And when it comes to glory, the Dale Chihuly glass sculpture exhibits there were completely astonishing. Perfectly placed and startling whenever we came upon them. I took pictures.

I've done various other things, too, obviously, in the last three weeks since I last posted. Busy days at work, and fun times out and about. Father's Day. Parties with coworkers. Dinners with friends. Good books read. It's been fun, and it's been busy, and the whole point of this blog was to keep track of all that. (Let's face it, it's really just a diary.) But for now, I've decided that if I get too obsessed about trying to "catch up," I'll never blog again! So I'm starting from scratch for now and boiling it down to yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Yesterday was my mother's birthday (happy birthday, Mum!) and we went to Cinematic Titanic with Sarah and Andy... tonight we enjoyed a fire in the firepit and listened to the pops and zings of local fireworks... and tomorrow is the Fourth of July.

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Goodnight, sweet prince

From the moment I first got my iPod Touch, it changed my life. I woke up to its delicate alarm-clock tones, read books on it, Googled, donated karmas to good causes, played online Scrabble, checked work e-mail, kept a calendar... oh, and occasionally listened to music.

Last night there was a severe thunderstorm. I grabbed a cup of coffee and my iPod Touch off the kitchen table to get them out of the way of incoming rain before hurriedly closing the window. By the time I picked up the Touch, it had been soaking in a perfect slosh of coffee inside its protective rubber sleeve for several minutes. It gave off intense heat as the circuits quietly fried.

Well. No more pretty new toys for me!

R.I.P. iPod Touch, October '09 - June '10

I've already realized that I can't live without one, though, and it can be an older, less sexy version if it has to be... so I've started trolling eBay for used and refurbished iPod Touches. If I get cheap stuff, it won't matter when I break it...!

Update, several hours later:

There was brief jubilation when the iPod Touch seemed to respond well to drying out in the sun. It turned back on, overcame a brief confusion during which it thought the year was 1969, and then came fully back online. Everything worked. I was deliriously happy.

Then I plugged it in - and discovered it will no longer take a charge. I realized that the current battery charge was only at 10 percent, and when that was gone, it would be lights out, permanently.

So we spent that last 10 percent well: one last sync to my laptop, one last Scrabble move! And then  the screen just unceremoniously went black.

It's like seeing someone in a coma unexpectedly come out of it... just long enough to say goodbye!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My new office (eventually)

I saw the blueprint and the sketch of my new office today. It'll be built in a month or two. I didn't really care about this new office business until I saw the picture, but now I'm all about it! Look at that - isn't it cute? There's a floor-to-ceiling window to the outside, and then there's a window out to the hallway so I don't feel as though I'm sitting in a lockbox. In my current office, there's not a windowpane to be seen.

The fact is, I will miss my current office. I will miss its location, closest to the people I interact with the most during my work day. I will miss my officemate - although he will in fact be in his own new office right next to mine. But now that I'm envisioning myself in that picture, I think I might not mind taking a walk to see my team or popping around the corner to visit my former officemate!

And see that thing under the desk? You know what that's called? A modesty panel! "So you can sit like a cowboy and nobody will care," explained the facilities manager. Ha!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Face of Nordre Frihavnsgade

You're familiar with Google Street View? In Denmark, the primary map company, KRAK, provides similar street-level photos to go with their maps. Apparently, one fine day, as they took the definitive picture of my parents' street address (home of my teenage years!)... Dad decided at that moment to poke his head out of the window.

Bright red shirt. Can't miss him.

No one else, in all those windows, looking out at the street. Just Dad.

He is now the Face of Nordre Frihavnsgade 13A.

Isn't that extraordinary? What are the chances?

On the KRAK site, you can see it larger and in context: blocks of buildings, rows of windows, dwindling picturesquely way down Nordre Frihavnsgade, and Dad absolutely unmistakeable in the middle of it all.

You can even see him in the photo they took one frame earlier: 

Dad says he was looking across to see if the Brugsen grocery store was open. Which, he says, "if you click down the street, you can see that it was."

Wanna try it? Go to the KRAK site, click on the green tab marked "Kort" (Map) and type "Nordre Frihavnsgade 13A" in the "Hvor" (Where) field. Click "Søg" (Search) and click "Vis Gadefoto" (Show street photo) beneath that. There he is! You can even enlarge and angle the picture. It would be a good picture anyway - it was clearly a lovely day - but with Dad making a star appearance, it's even better!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Congratulations, Germany!

Teenager Lena Meyer-Landrut, with her cute little German-Cockney accent, won the Eurovision Song Contest with the super-snappy Satellite. Click and listen. I dare you not to snap your fingers.

Last time Germany won (and I believe the only other time) was in 1982 (come to think of it, that was a teenage girl, too), and Stephanie and I were jumping around in excitement in her living room when it happened. We practically made a religion of the Eurovision Song Contest. We filled out score sheets and knew all kinds of facts about the songs and the singers. We sang along in fake Finnish or Greek. It was an event. And I have to admit: to me, it still is! I was thrilled to get an e-mail from Stephanie this weekend commenting on the winning and runner-up songs. It pleases me to think we were both watching, in 2010 as in 1982, even on opposite sides of the Atlantic.

Great stuff, Lena! I'll be watching the live stream from Germany next year!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My birthday

I often joke about how it's not so much birthday any more as a birthweek. At least when it comes to celebrating it! In my case, I had a sort of a birth-fortnight, but that doesn't sound so catchy. So maybe I'll just keep the celebrations going for another couple of weeks and make it a birthmonth.

Last Saturday, I was wined and dined at the Melting Pot by five of my favorite people on earth. After the initial panic of not quite understanding how to order, and after the next initial panic of realizing I was actually cooking, which is not one of my fortes, I relaxed and thoroughly enjoyed every minute. Breads and veggies in molten cheese, various meats and seafoods dipped in bubbling oil and broths, and of course sheer chocolate happiness at the end! This was special, to say the least, and I am lucky to have such good friends. Thank you all again!

Oh! Not to obsess about restaurants again, as I seem to do a lot - but yesterday, Barb and I had lunch at Logan Restaurant: they had sent me a birthday coupon for a free lunch entree. (See, the birthday shenanigans never stop!) I had a muffaletta to die for. Go forth some lunchtime and try it.

And on my actual birthday, last week, Scott and I discovered that they have half off bottles of wine at Aubree's on Mondays! And here I was all irked by having a Monday birthday. Mind you, it was a twist-off and they just plunked it unceremoniously down on the table with a thunk, but hey, it's just Aubree's. Besides, it was half off, and it was my birthday!

As for gifts... all I can say is, I have generous friends, parents, spouse, and sister. I'm one lucky 41-year-old. Penny, the tiny GaJol små grå shots are still in my freezer - I marvel at my own self-control! And as for my brand new copy of Luftkastellet der blev sprængt (that's the third and final Stieg Larsson book, which I decided to read in Danish!), that'll be so much fun to plunge into. Thanks, Mum! Lots of books to finish first, but I'll get there!

Oh - and finally, the Eurovision Song Contest semifinals are underway, and the final is on Saturday. Wheeee! This, obviously, is also in honor of my birthday. My vote goes to Greece, with their song Opa!

See, now we're back to the molten cheese again.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Fun in D.C.!

On the National Mall!

Vietnam Memorial

Scott and an X15 at the Air and Space Museum

The stunningly beautiful Museum of the American Indian

The Lincoln Memorial

Part of the Berlin Wall at the Museum of American History

An extraordinary stamp collection at the National Postal Museum

Gazing up into the atrium at the Hyatt Regency in Bethesda

Picture postcard perfect!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

There she is!

No longer nestled quietly in the Copenhagen harbor, here's the Little Mermaid, a true-blue celebrity at the World Expo in Shanghai.
Strange to see her so out of her element, but I must admit it's satisfying to see her on such a successful global tour!

She really ought to straighten up a little, though. That melancholy slump doesn't seem quite appropriate for such a world class star. I almost want to echo my mother's oft-stated directive from long ago in my childhood: "Maeve, sit up! You look like a question mark!"

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Sunday: "The Girl on the Train" at the Michigan Theater. It was okay. Always fun to see a French film even when it's a little iffy. The best part was having brunch at Cafe Zola first!
Yesterday: Cinco de Mayo celebration on Liza's patio. Burritos, guacamole, tres leches cake, and excellent company.

Tonight: "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," also at the Michigan Theater. Absolutely cannot wait.

In other news... the peonies are getting ready to pop in front of my porch. And the roses already have!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bye-bye, Lala

Things sure move fast these days.

Just two or three years ago, I discovered a CD trading service online called They sent me Netflix-style envelopes, I used them to send out CDs I no longer wanted to people who wanted them, and in return I got CDs I wanted, all virtually for free.

Suddenly - it was gone. Or rather, it transformed. Lala was no longer a trading service. The exchanging of physical CDs suddenly seemed like an archaic activity akin to sharing eight-track tapes. Lala was suddenly an amazing music site where you could stream entire songs (or entire albums!) for free, once, using a sort of try-before-you-buy system. After the free listen, you could pay a dime a song to have permission to stream them from the site as many times as you liked. And, if you really loved a song, you could buy it for 89 cents. Not only that: you could upload your entire music library and stream it from the web site anywhere you happened to be.

Suddenly - Apple bought Everyone speculated as to what they would do with it. And then, this week, just four months later, wham. Apple killed it.

It's no surprise, I suppose. It was too good to be true. Just yesterday, having discovered the quirky Mike Doughty over the weekend, I streamed all his solo albums once for free from Lala. I was thinking of buying the "web versions" of the albums to stream whenever I liked, but - ha! Why bother? It's shutting down on May 31.

Still, I should add that I bought three of his songs last night. On iTunes. Apple, take note: music discovery phase on Lala, cash payment on iTunes! Surely I'm not the only one...? And had you kept it going, you could have integrated all that, and in an interesting way. I suppose you might still be planning on doing that, but couldn't you have kept the web site around for us in the meantime?

Well, it's too bad. I have enjoyed a refreshed CD collection, online access to my music collection, and many interesting hours of music exploration through this innovative site.

I salute you, Lala folks. I'm glad Apple paid a hefty 80 million for you. You deserve it. I just wish they had had the imagination to let us enjoy you a little longer.

Maybe they don't think so different after all.

Postscript:Looks as though Apple is indeed planning something Lala-esque. Check this out. (Thanks, Zac.) Interesting. As I said earlier - things sure move fast these days!

Monday, April 26, 2010

This and that

First of all, here are a couple more pictures from Scott's birthday. Thanks for taking these, Christi - I love 'em!

Fun times!

Another fun time was last Wednesday, when Liza and I dropped by Cafe Felix for a glass of wine or two and some chatter. (You heard it here first, folks - half off bottles of wine after 7 o'clock at Cafe Felix on Wednesdays. This way, you can order a really good one to share without breaking the bank!) As we were walking toward the cafe, we were passing Amadeus and I happened to mention that I had never eaten there. This was immediately and deliciously remedied! I'm puzzled about why I never ended up eating there, since it opened the same year I moved to Ann Arbor: 1988. Maybe it seemed fussy or something, I don't know. But I'll be back now for sure - I'm still daydreaming about that bitki!

I don't eat at restaurants day in and day out, much as this online record may suggest otherwise... but Scott and I did have his birthday dinner (I know, he already had one, but this was the just-the-two-of-us version) at the Macaroni Grill. Sure, it's a chain restaurant by the mall, but it's pretty scrumptious stuff, and we pretended we weren't in our forties by drawing pictures on the paper tablecloth with the provided crayons.

Hmm. Did I do anything non-restaurant related? Ah - yes! Sarah and Andy came over to watch the Red Wings game last week. They won, and we whooped and shouted. Things are not looking good for the Wings at this point, alas. But that was a great game!

And I read Russell Hoban's Linger Awhile. That was one weird book, but then, it is Russell Hoban. I scrupulously avoid vampire books, but this particular vampire was reconstituted from the light and shadow of an old movie, brought to life through sheer force of will and then fading to black-and-white without fresh infusions of blood. So more Frankenstein than Dracula, really. A wild premise and, like his other books, the story itself was both funny and sad. Next (after I finish the book-club book, of course) is Evelyn's copy of Louise Erdrich's new novel, even though Evelyn wasn't particularly crazy about it. Even a lesser Erdrich effort is something to get excited about, in my opinion.

And I dug up some weeds around the house - not very effectively, but hey, I'm new at this. It's my first spring at the "new" house (we've been here since August, so newish) and I'm determined to plant a thing or two sometime soon. Dig it!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Playing catch-up

What?! I haven't posted in two weeks? Sometimes time just barrels by. Like a barrel over Niagara Falls.

Well, let's see. Scott and I went to a Tigers game - it was only game two of the season!

Since then, I've done plenty, just nothing particularly bloggable. You know - filed my taxes, took a couple of springtime walks, went to a farewell bash for Katy, bought a "Yellow Submarine" shower curtain. Bitzenpieces, basically. 

This weekend, we spring cleaned. All the piles of clutter and all the winter grime - gone. It's amazing. You wouldn't believe the black water that came out of the steam cleaner, and now the carpet is beige once more. I'm in love with my apartment all over again.

Look at that tidy living room!

Also note the new Vaio on the end table, there - thanks, Dad! An early birthday present, and is it ever gorgeous.

Speaking of birthdays, Scott's was yesterday. Note - new hat!

The in-laws came and visited our super-tidy place, and everyone worshiped Nigel, who pandered shamelessly to the cameras and soaked up all the attention like a diva.

We had a scrumptious family birthday dinner at the ever-charming Haab's (forgot my camera at home, but Chris took some, so hopefully I can scavenge some of her pictures - even though her camera almost ended up in my cheddar soup!), and later Chris, Scott and I went to the Sidetrack for a couple of cocktails. Yeah Ypsi!

Tonight, we kicked back in our yard, where I read the Sunday paper while warming myself at the firepit.


That pretty much catches me up to the present moment, which is mere moments before the disturbing and fascinating "Breaking Bad" comes on.

I love Sundays.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Book club at Christine's!

Christine's lakeside house turned into New Orleans last weekend as we discussed A Confederacy of Dunces and feasted upon jambalaya, muffalettas, and other relevant foodstuffs! Delicious, and it was great to catch up with everyone.

Ignatius J. Reilly would have approved. The whole afternoon exhibited proper geometry and theology, and nobody's pyloric valve closed up.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

"A host of lovely daffodils..."

Okay, maybe not a "host," per se. But some! Right outside my house!

They came up all by themselves! Magic! Amazing!

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Little Mermaid Goes to China!

No, it's not some new Disney stage spectacular - it's the recent removal of the Little Mermaid from the Copenhagen harbor as she embarked upon her journey to Shanghai, where she will feature as the crowning jewel in the Danish pavilion of the World Expo.

My parents were there with the camera as she was hoisted off! She was serenaded by choruses and speeches before her departure, which is exactly as it should be.

So strange to think of the harbor without her.
More info here!

Friday, March 26, 2010

An interesting family resemblance

A couple of years ago, I happened upon a plea from a German woman on, looking for information about her American relatives. I realized with some excitement that she was looking for the Schuers! The Ohio Schuers. My Schuers!
So I wrote back, she was thrilled to find her relatives, we exchanged some information, and since then we've been in touch. (Hi, Gerda!) She often posts interesting facts and photos on her Facebook page, and sometime I will post more about that, because I have learned lots of interesting things.
Now, usually, I feel that Scott generally looks more like his mother. But then Gerda sent me the above photo. That's Clemens Schuir (yes, it used to be spelled with an 'i'!), and I believe he's Scott's grandfather's uncle.
The fact is, he looks a whole heck of a lot like Scott! I was really startled at the resemblance. So was Scott, as a matter of fact.
It occurs to me that this would be a more effective post if I had a photo of Scott to post along with it, but I don't on this computer, so it'll have to wait. I'll add one later.
Meanwhile, I just wanted to post the picture - because I get such a kick out of it!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Oops! It's been a few days. Let’s see, what have I been up to? Not much, I guess, but I’ll write it up anyway!

I finally had the opportunity to go to Café Habana in Ann Arbor. I've been meaning to check it out for ages now. Liza and I sat in the window and watched the world go by. (Which was occasionally irritating. It may have been unseasonably warm for mid-March, but there’s no need to go jogging topless yet, fellas. Can we graduate from coat to jacket to T-shirt and then go jogging topless? What’s the point of having an interim season at all otherwise?) The Cuban sandwich was as delish as I have been led to believe, and I definitely want to go back and check out the groovy-looking downstairs lounge there, too. Who’s with me?

I went clothes shopping for the first time in God knows how long and bought about five million T-shirts. Hey, these days, if it fits, I’ll take it. Kind of fun to have a closet full of shirts.

Sarah, Andy, Scott and I went to the Tap Room Annex late last Friday night, and I realized I’m starting to like that place better than the usual two Depot Town suspects. Sure, it’s a little smoky, but not too bad now that the smoke has to waft all the way through two rooms to get to the Annex.

Scott and I went to see the Detroit Red Wings earlier this week and it was an all-around splendid night. We started out at Casey’s in Corktown, an old Irish pub with police and firefighter paraphernalia adorning the walls and locals sitting around in affable, mostly silent companionship. I love that kind of place. Then off to Joe Louis Arena, where the Wings resoundingly won against the current Stanley Cup champions, and the entire place cat-called and sang and shouted like a European football audience.

I tried cooking orange-glazed chicken in the oven the other night. As many of you know, I have this fear of cooking if it isn’t in a slow cooker, and I’m determined to work toward overcoming it by trying something on the stovetop or in the oven every now and then. Honestly, it wasn’t great. I don’t understand how you get the chicken all crispy and glazey: this was just gloppy. It was tasty enough, don’t get me wrong: I got the sauce right, and I even managed to get the rice and the green beans ready (relatively, after a microwave reheat!) at the same time as the chicken. So, not a complete flop, but again, true oven success eludes me. However, I will continue my determined efforts to overcome my fears! No mere glop will stop me in my quest!

And, honestly, that’s about it these days! Not a whole lot of activity, but so what, really? One can’t be rushing around living life vividly all the time, can one? Downtime is important, too!

Friday, March 19, 2010

A happy accident

When I was in middle school, I was obsessed - obsessed - with the TV show Fame. I mean, these kids were creative, intense, living the life in New York, destined for greatness! They burst into song and dance at any moment! They were truly alive!
I recently discovered that the first two seasons of the show are available for Netflix streaming. A few evenings ago, with Scott unexpectedly retired early for the night (he wouldn't watch "Fame" if you paid him!), I blissfully watched a couple of episodes.

Is this a great show? No. Can I sufficiently connect with my eighth-grade self to see it through her eyes? Yes!

So I hopped on eBay and found the soundtrack cheap - on cassette. Well, I have one of those handy-dandy digitizing deals, so I bought it. It arrived today.

Only - it's not the soundtrack. The cover says it's the soundtrack, but it is not. Oh, it is way better than the mere soundtrack. It's the rare, never-released-on-CD Kids from Fame: Songs recording! Including the classic song Mannequin, sung tunelessly and charmingly by the tonedeaf Leroy, with the memorable lyrics, "Mannequin, I love your frozen grin! Mannequin, you got it all over most humans!"

Are these great songs? No. Can I sufficiently connect with my eighth-grade self to hear them through her ears? Yes!
I'm happily listening to it for the second time right now.

I have e-mailed the eBay seller to thank him profusely for his error.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Be a Mindsticker, Part 3

Okay, the obsession ends after this. I promise. But first, here's a third Mindsticker commercial from 1969.

This time, the guy in whose mind the woman is working hard to be a Mindsticker is a leering, greasy-haired fellow who can't seem to close his mouth. This time, they have added an additional phrase to the jingle: "Why don't you keep your shape in shape?" Seems a little confrontational, doesn't it? As in, "Look, we've been telling you! Keep your shape in shape! Why don't you listen? Your husband's going to dump your fat self if you don't listen!"

A decade later, that was all gone. Look at this one from 1979 (which is the one I was nostalgically looking for in the first place, before I fell down this rabbit hole!) or this one from way later in 1986. Men and women alike drinking Tab. No more creepy Stepford wives. I mean, sure, there were and are plenty of similar messages - I'm not pretending otherwise, just look at the 'Housewives' franchise! - but the message is generally not quite so - how do I describe it? - claustrophobic. Women are generally not depicted as sitting around in a walled garden or on a deserted beach, hungry, forlornly drinking Tab, waiting for their husbands to return and restore meaning to their lives.

Bottom line: I am so grateful I was born into the generation I was! And I applaud the women who not only survived the Mindsticker era with their dignity intact but also helped to transform it. This means you, Mum!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Enivrez-vous sans cesse!

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I give you - a French poem!

It's Baudelaire's Be Drunk (Enivrez-vous), in a translation used, appropriately enough for today, by the late, great balladeer Liam Clancy, in a recitation during a classic Makem & Clancy concert recording. It's one of my favorites.

One should always be drunk - that’s all that matters.

So as not to feel time’s horrible burden that breaks your shoulders and bows you down, you must get drunk without ceasing.

But what with? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you choose - but get drunk.

And if at some time on the steps of a palace, or in the green grass of a ditch, or in the bleak solitude of your room, you are waking up when drunkenness is already abated, ask the wind, a wave, the star, the bird, the clock - all that which flees, all that which rolls, all that which groans, all that which sings, all that which speaks - ask them what time it is.

And the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock will reply: "It is time to get drunk! So that you may not be the martyred slaves of time, get drunk! Get drunk and never pause for rest - with wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you choose."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Be a Mindsticker, Part 2

I found a magazine advertisement from Tab's "Mindsticker" era and had to post it.

No idea why I'm so engrossed by this whole thing, but I am. Look at the completely vacuous expression on the woman's face. "I have no thoughts in my mind. Why should I? I'm a Mindsticker, not a mind user. Wow, look at this fascinating stick. It reminds me of - well, me!"

Also, apparently, two TV commercials were made. Here's the other one. A little jauntier, not quite as unsettling as the reproachful twinkle-harp one, but still plenty nauseating. "She's stuck! Stuck in his mind! She's a Miiiiindsticker with a goooood shape!"

Yeah, she's stuck all right.

Be a Mindsticker

I ran into this Tab commercial from the very early 1970s. It shows a businessman dreaming of his slender young wife, who is then shown running around in a garden with her little girl, both of them exuding little-girl prettiness. The scene is accompanied by a twinkly harp and a high, sweet female voice trilling delicately about how all-encompassingly important it is for you to be a "Mindsticker" in the mind of your man.

"Don't you want to have a good shape? He wants you with a good shape," she coos reprovingly.

I suppose the message hasn't changed much over the years: we're still urged to be sticks. There's just something about the directness of the statement that I find so interesting. You have to be a Mindsticker or your husband will find someone who is.

Hmm. Maybe we've made some progress after all, eh?

I was actually very excited to find Tab in Atlanta. I've never liked sugary pop (I love sugary everything else, but sugary pop makes my teeth feel funny), so when I was a child on summer vacation in the States, I always looked for Fresca - and Tab. In Atlanta, I happily sipped the saccharine stuff out of the signature pink can and for a moment it was the 1970s again! (But was I a Mindsticker? Who cares?)

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I spent an extended weekend with Barb and Evelyn in Atlanta. And it was wonderful. A few highlights:

Having a Rangoon Ruby at Trader Vic's

Princess Diana's wedding dress (yeah, the real one)

The CNN Studio Tour (I didn't take that picture - we were back there in that blank black spot at the top rear, peering down at the newsroom)

Attendees of "Cardboard Con," apparently occurring at our hotel

Chilling in Olympic Park on a beautiful spring day

Snacks for our hotel-room Oscar party

The dizzying vertigo of the atrium at our hotel

And of course great restaurants, fabulous weather, fun shopping, and excellent company.

I recommend a friends' weekend to Atlanta any time you can manage one! Well, maybe not in deep summer - it was already 70 degrees the day after we left, and this is early March. So I recommend a friends' weekend to Atlanta in early March. And if you do plan one, buy me a ticket, too!