Random Bits

Happy ThanksMonday, everyone. If you’re like me, you’re returning to work in a bit of a daze. I’ve had the standard Thanksgiving turkey dinner, the standard Thanksgiving Friday leftovers, the standard Thanksgiving Saturday lunch, even the not-so-standard Thanksgiving Sunday turkey enchiladas and turkey Spanish rice. So I don’t really have anything coherent to say this morning, just a few unrelated bits.

* I am now officially the parent of a teenager: my son turned thirteen this weekend. In some ways this transformation isn’t particularly significant — he’s been displaying the “typical teenager” traits for some time now — but it does mark the end of a very significant era. It’s that point where kids shift from “playing” to “hanging out,” when they’re more interested in clothes than toys, when as a parent you begin to be less worried about what someone might do to harm your child and more concerned about what your child might do to himself. I’m hopeful that it also marks the end of a very troubling period (which lasted only a couple of weeks), when my son’s shoe size was greater than his age.

* I finally saw The Incredibles this weekend (I know, I’m several weeks behind the times. But I have an excuse: I had enormous shoes to buy). Another Pixar sensation. Every time I see another one of these CGI films, I’m excited to see the next generation of CG realism. This summer, with Shrek 2, CG artists had finally mastered hair. The Incredibles marks a dramatic improvement in handling water. It begins with the traditional (and otherwise rather middling) Pixar short before the movie, when goldfish leap up a babbling brook that practically flows off the screen into your lap. The Incredibles offers amazing oceans, rivers, and waterfalls. Fire is another matter entirely. They just haven’t quite gotten it yet. Maybe next time.

* Did the “Black Friday” thing this year. How had I never learned the origin of that term? Just found out via the NYT that it’s called that because it’s the day most retailers finally move into the black for the year. I was impressed with how smoothly it all went: yes, there were crowds, but the stores were ready for them. The result, negligible lines, really excellent service. Combine that with all the sales, and it’s actually not a bad day for shopping. I was even able to find parking.

* 2Blowhards has the best explanation yet of how the left lost the election. The red states were “getting back” at the liberals for their constant stream of mockery and abuse. How can the liberals expect the support of people they’re constantly calling “stupid” or deriding for their beliefs. I have to say, living in a red state myself, all this talk of blue state secession after the election really did give me the creeps. I’m a liberal, and I’m appalled at how widespread the perception of the red states being populated with undereducated bumpkins really is. Even in most of the so-called blue states, after all, a good 48 percent voted for Bush, too.

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