Monday, April 16, 2007

Bits And Pieces

It's been awhile since my last blog (I feel like I'm back in confession!), but I've been busier than a butt-tick at a Speedo convention, so I'll have to catch up in a few installments. We'll start with:

PARENTING SKILLS 101

So, I'm in Sweden, visiting my kids, Jeffrey, age 8, and Marty, age 6-we've seen "Pirates Of The Caribbean" Parts 1 & 2 so many times that I feel like I've definitely buckled my last swash . I decide to show them "The Mummy"-you know, the modern re-make with Brendan Fraser, kind of an "Indiana Jones" knock-off; funny, lots of adventure, and just slightly scary (or so I remember it). I explain to my boys all about mummies, ancient Egypt, etc., before we start the movie. They wonder if there's anything scary in it. "Well, yes," I say," but not more scary than "Pirates"."OK, daddy, let's watch it," Jeffrey says with those wide-open, innocent lamb-eyes. The movie begins-lots of laughs, excitement, the scene of the man being mummified, no problem, we're having fun, passing the candy back and forth, the movie cuts to a few hundred years later, more thrills, some laughs, they open the tomb, a beetle crawls under a man's skin, and this is where it gets interesting. I decide the visual just isn't enough, so, caught up in the excitement, I helpfully provide a descriptive play-by-play. "Look, it's going under his skin; now it's eating his heart; now it's crawling up----IT'S EATING HIS BRAIN!!!!!!!"
At which point Jeffrey, on my left, bleats out, "Daddy, I think I'm going to throw up!!" Little Marty, to my right, merely bursts into tears, as I reach frantically for the remote to turn our little adventure off. Now, I'm not trying to turn this into anything but a classic example of "when good intentions go bad", but I do keep forgetting that my kids grow up in a small town in Sweden and aren't as inured to violence and jarring imagery as us tough Amurrricans...and I actually hope they stay that way for a long time...

Speaking of jarring imagery,here's today's trivia question:
How do you know you've rented a car in New York City? Give up?
Answer: When there's two vials of blood in the cup-holder (most decidedly not mine), they won't give you another vehicle, and the steering wheel shudders violently when you go above 10 MPH. Today's trivia question comes to us courtesy of AAmcar, on 96th Street between West End & Riverside.

Speaking of shuddering violently, I just finished listening to the rough mixes of my new CD-no, we kid the Poles!!!!Actually, I'm quite proud of this one-it started out as a duo record with myself and Greg Cohen, and became that and much more-there's lots of surprises on this one, not least of which is that I'm putting it out myself! Yep, I'm tired of seeing everything deleted faster than the Bush administration's e-mails, so I'm gonna own a few of my masters for a change-look in this space for further details....

And, finally, for now, we say a brief good-bye to Kurt Vonnegut.A couple of years ago, I played the clarinet part (as opposed to the part of a clarinet) in a fascinating production of Stravinsky's "A Soldier's Tale", with a new book by Mr. Vonnegut, based on the true story Private Slovik.
To our delight, he showed up to one of the performances,and to my delight,complemented me on my playing (there was a jazz segment we did in addition to the 'straight' performance),and told me that,yes, even he used to play the clarinet , and inquired, "Do they still call it the licorice stick?" I don't really know if 'they' do or not, but God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, for your visionary works of art--you sure inspired a lot of us.....

See you next time! Ken Peplowski P.S. Thanks for the 'typing tips' go out to Jim Lawler (sincerely!!!); Jim responded to my last blog with this warm message: "Ken: Hit the space bar after each comma." Who knew????....... although there's a little book out there called "archy and mehitabel"; you might want to talk to the publishers about capitalizing some of the words.......

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