April 7th, 2007

krazy koati

The flocks head north and the lilacs bloom

I'm back in New England. I had promised my aunt and uncle that I'd come back, although I wasn't expecting to be quite this soon. But they invited my parents up for Easter, and me along with them. The major change this time around is that I didn't drive. My mother drove instead. (She always drives.) This has the theoretical benefit that I can then sit back in my chair and sleep, although I never really feel comfortable reclining in cars. I barely feel better about it in airplanes. My father is convinced, among other things, that I push the headrest down in his car whenever I drive it, but the truth is I never touch it. I don't feel like my head should rest on the head rest, so I just ignore its existence, and to date it hasn't turned sarcastic or passive-aggressive in demanding attention, so it seems to be content with my benevolently ignoring it too. As it happens I had the backseat, meaning that I was a bit more cramped for leg room, and also on one nasty bump the hot chocolate I had, since we don't have cupholders back there, spilled on the back of my shirt. Not much -- we had that silly little lid -- but enough to be annoying. The snow flurries at the Vince Lombardi Service Plaza were more distracting.

Mom suggested I borrow some audio books for the trip up, since it'll go through several radio zones and she doesn't feel like bothering with it. This was an eye-opening experience for me, since, for one thing, I had assumed it'd be pretty easy to pick a book both my parents and I would find reasonably interesting, which theory breaks down as soon as I look at any specific book. More, from the generous mixing of audio and video and DVD entries alongside regular books in the library, I supposed that there were audio book copies of nearly all the reasonably popular books. That's also not quite so true when you look at specific cases. I thought something like Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything would fit, even though I've read it already, but it turns out they only have that on cassette tape. In fact, many of the books I thought most suitable were only on cassette tape. Clearly, what we need is a gadget to connect a tape player so its output fits into a fake compact disc, so the tapes can be played on modern car CD systems.

Trivia: Ernie Kovacs's last show for WABD (Channel 5 in New York City, the DuMont Network station) was 7 April 1955. Source: The Forgotten Network: DuMont and the Birth of American Television, David Weinstein.

Currently Reading: Empire: How Spain Became A World Power, 1492 - 1763, Henry Kamen.