Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Monday, June 18, 2012

Things I'm Digging: For NEXT Father's Day

. . . because I didn't find them until today (yeah, yeah, story of my life - day late, dollar short), and also because I wasn't really in the market for Dad's Day gift of the tchotchke variety this year.  (My Mom's Day gift was a kitchen, and Spouse's will be the plasma TV that he tricked me into agreeing to convinced me would be a positive addition to the living room.)

But, next year, for sure:

Die-cut wood, $26 from Spunky Fluff's Etsy site.  Can be finished in a number of colors, including this gorgeous pear green.

I like her description:  "A flashback from Children of the Corn or a practical warning for visitors to your property? You decide."

Umm, yeah, I'm thinking for us it's definitely the latter.  Although, when the Big Kid's hair bleaches out, he does look like a CotC extra.

I am also in LURVE (with a capital L) with this piece ($44):

FAN-flippin'-TASTIC.  And so appropriate, given that our boys go around quoting fun "facts" about Batman and Chuck Norris, very much in keeping with "The Most Interesting Man" ad campaign.  One of these days, I am going to blow their little minds by asking them who would win in a fight:  Batman or Chuck Norris?  You may not be surprised that the comic book cognoscenti have already weighed in on the likely outcome (click here for an example).  I particularly like the suggestion that Batman ultimately defeats his adversary by confronting him with scenes from Norris' own 1986 movie "Firewalker," causing him to implode.   I have never heard of this movie, but I have to assume that it is horrible based on (1) context, (2) the fact that it features Chuck Norris and (3) the fact that it was made in 1986.  However, much as I love Batman (and George C. in certain contexts), I have to say that the same argument could be made, going the other way, with respect to the Clooney Batman movie.  You know, the one where he walked around sporting Bat Headlights?   I'm just spitballing here, but I think that, were one to play "Firewalker" and "Batman and Robin" on opposite movie screens facing inward, a black hole would open up at the midpoint between the two screens, and the known universe would be swallowed whole.  Perhaps this is what the Mayans were worried about when they chiseled out the Long Count Calendar.

I kid about the Mayan thing.  Because I'm a kidder.  Fun factoid:  There are no Mayan inscriptions predicting the end of the world at the end of the "long count."  I know a little bit about this, because ONCE UPON A TIME AS A UT UNDERGRADUATE I ENROLLED IN, AND THEN ACTUALLY COMPLETED,  A COURSE CALLED "MAYAN HIEROGLYPHICS."  This was, I believe, the same semester that I took Primate Behavior.  (Ah, the joys of a liberal arts education.  My Bachelor of Arts and a roll of quarters would net you exactly ten bucks.)

Primate Behavior (like Mayan Hieroglyphics, an offering of the Anthropology Department) was largely a lab course.  The "lab" consisted of watching monkeys through a one-way mirror and taking notes of what they did.  VERY CAREFUL NOTES, I might add (because they were actually utilized in an ongoing research project):  you couldn't just say that a monkey ran away, but rather YOU HAD TO DESCRIBE ALL OF THE STEPS INVOLVED WITH RUNNING AWAY.  See, first the monkey has to STAND, so you have to enter the three-letter code for standing (actually, there were two different codes - one for a bipedal stand and one for a quadripedal stand), followed by the three-letter code for walking (because you have to WORK UP TO RUNNING, people) and THEN followed by the three-letter code for running.  It was all very exciting.  This is the sum total of what I remember from Primate Behavior:

1.  The monkeys involved in the research project were vervets and Sykes monkeys.

2.  Vervets and Sykes monkeys like to run.  A LOT.


(This is a vervet monkey.  And THAT, my friends, is what ya call a quadripedal stand.  Booyah!)

3.  The alpha male vervet was named Mork.  He was frequently injured and therefore always in quarantine.  (I suspected that he got tired of dealing with the general inmate population, so he initiated a lot of prison yard fights hoping that he would get sent to solitary.)

4.  Gibbons are the most vindictive critters on the planet.

The last item I remember from one of the classroom lectures.  Gibbons are grudge holders, and they have extremely long memories. We were told the tale of a primate researcher who had developed a close personal relationship with one of his gibbon research subjects.  (Well, the guy thought that they were close; the gibbon, apparently, was far less invested.)  One day the gibbon (literally) went ape-you-know-what, basically tore the scientist's arm out of its socket, and did a number on his flesh.  After a significant stint in the ICU, he spent more than a year undergoing skin grafts and completing physical therapy.  Then he insisted on being reunited with his gibbon "friend" - and within seconds the gibbon had given him a second beat-down, eerily identical to the first. 

Oh, that's another thing that I learned in my primate behavior class:

5.  Some primate researchers exhibit a notable lack of common sense.

I consider myself one of the smart ones:  after collecting my 104 for the semester, I finished college and enrolled in law school, where it was reasonably assured that I would not have to interact with any gibbons.  (Also, I needed to do something to make myself marketable; see "liberal arts degree," above.)  I am pleased to report that in the two decades since college I have been the victim of ZERO gibbon attacks.

Apropos of nothing (not that any of this post is apropos of much - didn't I start out talking about Father's Day?), why do they call them one-way mirrors?  Aren't pretty much ALL mirrors one-way?  Wouldn't it be more appropriate to divide mirrors into "mirrors that you can look through" and "mirrors that you can't look through"?

See what a finely honed machine my mind was - um, honed into - by four years of liberal arts studies?

And yet the father of my children married me, anyway.

Guess how many liberal arts degrees he has?  Hint:  It's more than one.  And that is why he is . . .

. . . the Most Interesting Dad in the World.

No comments: