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Location: Austin, Texas, United States

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The baby wrens have fledged and flown, which makes me both sad and yet amazed. They went from eggs to avian teenagers in 24 days. And I think Andy's growth is quick.

We survived the sleepover. Four eight-year-old boys. I liked all of 'em. I'm sure I've made myself hated among parents for providing my son with an X-box, which all of the boys adored. I actually hated the idea of video games before we got this one, and now, of course, I'm converted. Now, not all games are welcome in my home. No "first person shooter," nothing involving evading the police or committing crimes. Same rules as movies: no on-screen blood and the good guys have to win. Within those guidelines, however, X-box has lots of nice stuff. Most Disney, Pixar, and Dreamworks movies now have associated games, which is kind of fun. Andy is particularly fond of "The Incredibles" and "Chicken Little." His all-time favorite, however, is Lego "Star Wars." This is the familiar movies acted out by Lego dolls on Lego sets. It includes the parody movie "Revenge of the Brick," adapted from the last movie. I have to say Lucasfilm's masterwork is better done with small plastic figures than with live actors.

Inspired by the "Da Vinci Code," the lastest wretched piece of dreck to make the best-seller lists, I have been thinking about bad books I liked. I'm a real novel snob, so other than paperback mysteries, I don't have a lot of fiction to confess. My real failing is celebrity biographies, especially autobiographies. If the celebrity is a movie star from a family of European aristocrats, that's the best. I had load of fun last year reading Christopher Lee's autobiography. His grandfather was an Italian marchese and his mother a countess. Gramps escaped from Italy, where his support for Garabaldi had made life uncomfortable to Australia, where he became part of a travelling theater company. Gramps was, in addition to being from the oldest of European noble families, an accomplished operatic tenor. Still, it must have been something to go from a palazzo in Rome to outback shantytowns. I'd love to read a book about him.

More on this later, when I have some time.

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