26 August 2009

The kids are back...

And they are off to a great start. Here are my three favorite comments from the first day of school:

1) Does the United Statets really have a capital? I thought only individual states had those.

2) Wasn't George Washington the President during World War I?

3) Is California on the East coast or the West coast?

In celebration of my new job, I answered the last question by using a map.

23 August 2009

Heat Men

Once upon a time, in my pre-reading days, I was sitting at home, and I was very cold. Specifically my legs were very cold. Being rather young and not too self sufficient i decided to respond to my discomfort by whining. My dad suggested that I could not just sit and whine and remain cold, but rather remedy the situation by putting on a jacket. I knew this was a dumb idea for two reasons:

1) My jacket was hanging in a closet in the cold house, and therefore also cold. Putting this cold jacket on would only serve to make my arms as cold as my legs.

2) A jacket would not cover my legs, which, as you may recall, was the part of me that was freezing.

Therefore, I concluded there was nothing to do but sit and suffer, rather loudly, from hypothermia. Although I am fairly certain hypothermia was not yet a part of my vocabulary I'm sure I was thinking some juvenile synonym of hypothermia which currently escapes me.

My dad explained to me that a jacket was a perfect solution to my impeding death by cold because of the heat men. Heat men are the little men that live inside of your body that keep it warm. But the heat men do not simply sit inside your body contentedly keeping it at a pleasant and comfortable temperature. Heat men want to escape and live in the air. They rush around your body looking for avenues of departure. My dad explained to me that if I put on a jacket the heat men that were trying to escape through my arms would get stuck thereby making the jacket warm. Problem 1 solved. He further explained that those heat men would send out the message to other heat men that the arm escape route had been cut off. The rest of the heat men would rush down to my legs looking for an alternate route, and in no time my legs would be nice and toasty. And thus I would not freeze to death. This made sense to me, and I put on a jacket.

My dad insists that he does not remember this conversation, but to this day every time I put on a jacket I imagine little heat men, who look remarkably like little green army men, rushing around my body trying to escape.

02 August 2009

Public Restrooms

Some thoughts from last summer's vacation...

After spending 5 days in New York City I have come to the following conclusions about public restrooms.
1. There will always be a line in the women’s restroom. I have long claimed this to be one of the Grand Laws of the Universe. Much like gravity, the line in the women’s restroom will always exist. It’s not always a long line, but it is always there.
2. I have never ever ever seen a baby changing table used for changing a baby. I’m sure it’s happened, and I’m sure that someday I will be the one using it for said purpose. But to this point in my life I have never witnessed the changing table being used as it was intended.
3. I strongly prefer paper towels to hand dryers. Despite this preference my environmentalist friends still like me. This makes me happy.
4. There is not a preponderance of public restrooms in New York City. The potential for problems is alleviated by the fact that drinking fountains are also severely limited.
5. An airport will never be a convenient place to use the restroom. Since “the current security threat level is orange,” and no one would ever think of leaving their luggage unattended at any time, many rolling suitcases find their way into the confines of a public restroom that is already overcrowded by the ever-present line (see #1) Getting into the restroom requires successful completion of a rather complicated obstacle course. Exiting the restroom requires feats of agility and strength known only to the most adept escape artists. In spite of the best coaxing suitcases and stall doors do not play well with each other. No matter how you try to rearrange things the suitcase will insist on being in the way and the stall door will refuse to completely open. You will get caught in the middle of the ensuing struggle.
I don’t think I will ever walk into an airport and hear an announcement that says, “May I have your attention please. There is currently no security threat level. Please feel free to leave your baggage unattended wherever you would like. Thank you.” Since this will never happen I think that they should just make the stalls in airports large enough to accommodate a person and a suitcase. Or at least change the doors so that they open out.