Saturday, December 20, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Not a Shamus

I’m reading Raymond Chandler again. This time it’s “Farewell My Lovely.” I also acquired The Big Sleep, starring H. Bogart and Lauren Bacall. That is also good. Though it’s slightly harder to follow than the book. It’s a regular Raymond Chandler kniption I’m going through here.

I don’t know what it’s all about. (Besides my continuing retreat into film fantasy land—swear to god, I now replay and rethink and refeel some movies as if they were scenes from my own life.) (I need to get out more.) Maybe, though, I like this gumshoe-LA-broads-in-flouncy-dresses world because it’s so much like my own life and my own little Vienna. Phillip Marlowe dodges bullets. I worry about dodging shoes thrown by my Middle Eastern students. Every time Marlowe gets into a cab or a bookstore, it’s filled with curvy, yearningly available blondes. Everytime I get onto a bus, a big Turkish guy steps on my foot and grunts.

Here in this phase I’m having, I think, ‘It looks so cool when Bogart pulls on his ear. I oughta do that.’ But in Vienna, if I pulled on my ear every time I tried to have a thought, people would regard this as a schizophrenic symptom. Treatment would be recommended.

Phillip Marlowe untangles bizarre knots of happenstance, violence, greed and desire. I pull my ear as I try to figure out why the Viennese lapse into states of clinical depression when they see the first fallen leave of autumn.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Adventures in the Media Trade

So we were approached by a member of the media, a guy who's doing a story about foster parents in Vienna. We both thought it would be a good idea to talk to him. Anette wanted to try to adjust some of the wrong thinking about foster kids. As for myself, even before we met V., as we were adopting Adinah, I read a suggestion that adoptive parents should be vocal about their positive experiences, if only to counter some of the tv movie-media-horror stories about adoption. That made sense to me. So I still do take every opportunity to talk about the upside (and downside) of our family story. To everyone.

But V.'s situation is different. V.'s biological mother is alive and doing well. She reads magazines and newspapers--gosh, she might even go online sometime! That's one of the reasons I've never written V.'s full name or posted a recognizable foto of her (or Adinah) on this blog. Her first mother loves our sweet V. It's partly because of this that we were able to welcome V. into our house and have such a crazy wonderful family. We can and do thank V.'s bio-mother for that. And we owe her.

Anyhoo, the writer guy's people wanted to send a photographer to our house, but we offered to take the photos ourselves. They agreed to let us try. I made some nice, discreet pictures of Anette playing with Adinah and V. We e-mailed the pictures and the media folk were happy with them.

He came over to interview us last week. He seemed like a nice guy, seemed sensitive to the key issues, okay, good. I did get a little nervous when I saw that he wasn't gonna tape the conversation. (As a journalist myself, I almost always record interviews.) And as we talked, I paid attention to when he was listening, talking himself, and/or taking notes.

We talked about racism in Vienna, about differences between adopting and foster parenting, about some people's perception that foster parents are only in it for the state subsidies. And we talked about people who become foster parents to "save a child" or "do God's work." Let's call it the missionary position. I told the guy that I think that anyone who foster parents for this reason is gonna have problems. We told him that we adopted Adinah and brought V. into our house because we wanted to be a gang of four.

He wasn't writing much of this down.

I hope he was paying attention.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Best $5 and $10 Words

1) crummy

2) horseshit

3) horseradish

4) buccaneer

5) booty

6) indubitably

7) parsnip

8) crazy

9) sneaky

10) dope

11) mope

12) hush puppie

13) buxotic

14) peeve

15) peckish

16) bug

17) tortilla

18) waxing

19) zip

20) pest