1. Dad was right, or how the violinist on the Titanic felt
Once, when I was about 9 or 10 years old, I was at the house of a friend of my mom’s. My mom’s friend and several other mothers were in the kitchen complaining about pediatricians. I’m not sure what I was doing, but I remember overhearing their conversation.
“They never listen,” the moms kept saying.
“All they ever tell you is, ‘Give him some Robitussin.'”
“My kid is sick, and I didn’t bring him here for you to tell me something I’ve already done or I already know.”
I remember thinking at the time that I could grow up to be a pediatrician (I loved mine — a rotund man with big, bushy eyebrows), and when I became one, I would always remember these mothers and be a better doctor. A lot of people may remember what dreams they had as children, or what they wanted to be when they grew up. I don’t, but I look back on this memory from time to time and wish I really had wanted to be a doctor. Truth is I never really knew what it was I wanted to be.
My father was never one to romanticize work. He started hounding me about a five-year plan when I was about 13. Accountants always have jobs, he would say. Doctors, engineers, accountants—what else is there? Nothing. He wanted me to be happy, yes, but happiness to him meant security. When other parents were telling their children to follow their dreams, to do what made them happy, dad was telling me that accountants always have jobs, that if I didn’t have a plan for a career right then and there, I would spend my life bouncing from job to job with no stability. He offered people he knew as examples to back up his point.
In college, I majored in English — the only subject that ever inspired me. Upon my graduation, dad told me how proud he was even as he wondered what I would end up doing with my life. As a student, I dreamed of being a writer (still do), and journalism was my practical solution to the question of a regular paycheck. That solution has proven fickle, though. So while hubby and I work on Plans C through Z as the fate of our newspaper (the entire industry, really) hangs in the balance, I find myself in a bit of a philosophical crisis. Was dad right all this time? Would my life be easier now if I’d spent my college years learning to crunch numbers rather than immersing myself in Shakespeare and Louisa May Alcott? At this perilous moment for newspaper journalists across the country, I’m inclined to say that maybe he was right. Just nobody go and tell him I said that.
2. The Librarian is a poor man’s Indy, and yet I love it.
Noah Wyle spent a decade at ER’s County General, and he still looks like he did on that first year, when Dr. Benton was kicking his ass up and down the hospital. That boyish cuteness makes him perfect for the role of Flynn Carter, the Librarian — imagine a more bookish Henry Jones Jr. minus the swagger, the hat and the whip. With the circular glasses he sports now and then, he looks like a grown-up version of Harry Potter.
The TV movies (the third premiered on TNT this weekend) are the perfect balance of action-adventure cheese and fun that you enjoy more than you expect because it’s on TV and it’s free. Also, there is Bob Newhart and Jane Curtin — National Treasure can’t say the same.
3. If Pushing Daisies was canceled, but I refuse to acknowledge it, did it really happen?
I have two episodes on my DVR, ready to watch. I just can’t bring myself to, knowing that I have no more Daisies to look forward to. I’ve seen too many episodes of Dawson’s Creek, One Tree Hill and The Real World to judge anyone’s TV watching habits, but it’s hard to live in a land in which The Hills and According to Jim are allowed to go on (and on and on and on) and a gem like Daisies has to be cut short.
Upon announcement of the Daisies cancelation, Television Without Pity put together a list of 10 shows that were canceled way too soon. Some of my all-time faves were among them:
Arrested Development: Hilarity, narrated by Ron Howard. Who wouldn’t love that and give it a ten-season order? Dare we hope a movie is on its way?
Deadwood: Fucking brilliance.
Pushing Daisies: Sigh. Too soon.
Veronica Mars: A high school show that even hubby grew to love? Will such a creature ever exist again?
Everwood: Loved, loved, loved. Yes, it should have been allowed to go on, but having been given warning that the end was nigh, the creators ended it perfectly.
4. For the No. 1 pick in the 2009 NBA draft, (insert Oklahoma Thunder or equally awful team here) take Stephen Curry, Davidson College.
According to Chad Ford, over on ESPN, this may happen. It probably won’t, but the fact that it could amazes me. A lottery pick? From Davidson?
5. Happy Dia de las Velitas, everyone!
Yesterday was the Dia de las Velitas in Colombia and in Boise, Idaho, where my mom celebrates with a few hundred of her closest friends. (It started out as her small way to show people one of Colombia’s richest holiday traditions, but the people kept coming and they kept bringing their friends.) I don’t have a lot of memories of this day from my Colombian childhood, but I know that mom loves it. I also remember my grandfather Nono, who got drunk for the very last time on the Dia de las Velitas back in 1995. A few weeks later his one good kidney would fail and a few months later he was gone, to that great big fritanga in the sky, where he could drink whisky and eat arepas like every day was the Dia de las Velitas. To learn more about the holiday (not just what it means to me), go to Wiki.