Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Reading Assignment: Life with Father

A few weeks ago, I read Life with Father by Clarence Day, a classic of American humor.  Originally published in the The New Yorker in the 1930s,  it's a series of tales about Day's cranky, exacting, demanding, belligerent, somewhat misogynist father.  For all that he's a lovable cranky misogynist.  Mr. Day reminds me of my grandfather--who was NOT a cranky, belligerent, misogynist--but who did appreciate a well-regulated lifestyle.  Born in 1903, he gracefully wore the mantle of an earlier era until the day he died in 1998.  Maybe it's not so much Mr. Day who reminds me of my grandfather, just the time period that the book describes.

The book was the inspiration for a Broadway play and a movie, which I haven't seen, but added to my netflix queue.  Read it if you want something light and funny that will give you a good taste of upper-middle class domestic American life in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

And so another weekend is upon us.  Rejoice!  Seamus left this morning for an impossibly ambitious art field trip to New York City.  Their itinerary:  Frick Collection, "time in Chinatown & Greenwich Village," a cruise around Manhattan (we've been asked to confirm if our kids get seasick or not, and if so, can they be given dramamine), Metropolitan Museum of Art, "Time on 5th Ave," Museum of Modern Art, Empire State Building, Times Square, Guggenheim Museum, Central Park/Strawberry Fields, The Cloisters, Whitney Museum of Art.  How they will have the time to do all that in a single weekend is beyond me, but I admire impossible, grand plans.   If the teacher and two parent chaperones (for thirty middle schoolers) don't come home in straitjackets, the trip can be considered a success.  Meanwhile, the math teacher chased Seamus onto the school bus before it departed yesterday afternoon, to give him a packet of math homework for the weekend.  That is dedication to the cause of algebra!  It is extremely unlikely that this assignment will be completed, but just for fun, I'll send Seamus a text and ask him if he packed it and his graphing calculator.  Oh well, school may be cancelled Monday, since we're in the path of another snowstorm.

For the weekend, I plan to chip away at my to-do list of doom, and maybe finally learn all the mac keyboard shortcuts, now that the tax returns are filed.  I'm having a gardening conundrum that may result in me putting a sign at the curb saying, "CLEAN FILL WANTED."  Or maybe I could steal some top soil from the environs of the county jail.  (That's a JOKE.)  If anyone has a small truckload of dirt they'd like to dispose of, see me after class.


  1. Is the name of this field trip "There Will Be Art"? Why does that sound like a threat?

    I've been using Macs for 20 years and still don't know any special characters. I suspect there are many shortcuts I don't know about, too.

  2. Hope your weekend is productive!
    That sounds like a cute book, actually. I always enjoy gentlemen of a certain era.

  3. I remember reading that back in my youth and I keep meaning to re-read it. Thanks for the reminder.

    I'm exhausted just reading their game plan. Bless their hearts.

  4. We thought about sending our girls on that field trip, but decided against it for various reasons having to do with the cost (x2) and the itinerary.

    That math teacher is a nightmare. If homework is not done for any reason, the students get a zero, even if the parents try to talk to the teacher about it and explain why it wasn't done.

  5. I'm trying not to feel pissy about the fact that you folks have had more accumulating snow this winter (and last winter...and the winter before that) than we have had up here; but it's not working.

  6. He actually did pack his math assignment, LOL.

    Not Beehive, I don't think the trip was given a name, but that sounds like a good one. More art than they can stomach, probably. Looking at art is exhausting, I think.

    SC, maybe it will be your turn next winter.

  7. wow what a trip....trying to snow here in London again!!

  8. We've done a few NYC Art Trips with simlar itenaries a few times and it's actually been quite fun. The best was the year MoMa had the Tim Burton exhibit. The worst was that time in Chelsea where we wandered into an exhibit of larger-than-life paintings of Gummi-Bear colored... umm... toys... of an anatomic nature. Hope Seamus' adventure was not that exciting.