When you have a kid and you get the obligatory child car-seat, you constantly hear that 90 percent of seats are installed incorrectly. Not wanting to be a total egotist/exceptionalist, I figured, hey, maybe—just maybe—we're in that 90 percent. So everyone also always says (in classes, at the hospital, etc.) that you can get your seat checked at any fire station. Fortunately, we happen to have a historic station right around the corner.
I just went in there, though, to see if somebody could check out our cushy new Britax Roundabout, and this very nice fire-fighter (who I'm sure had better things to do) said, "I can help... but I want you to know that I'm not trained for this. But I am a dad. I can at least take a look."
He went on to spend like 15 minutes helping me out, scrunching into the car and climbing up on the seat to cinch it down, but he said that there's a whole training you have to go through to check them properly. (The story checks out.) Apparently, some stations go through it and some don't, but people frequently come in there and ask for help with seats. I was apologetic, saying they always tell you to go to any fire station. He said, "Yeah, I really wish they'd quit telling people that."
I don't usually go into a florist and specify exactly which flowers I want. I just tell them about how much I want to spend, if I have any particular preferences (like if I know somebody likes Gerber daisies or whatever), what the occasion is, etc., and then I'm happy for them to go wild, since presumably they have some expertise and know their inventory better than I do, and what goes well with what and all.
This is how I want restaurants to be. "I'm really hungry, I want to spend $20, something spicy sounds good, no fish." Why doesn't it work this way already?
If you're in Seattle and you're a Peanuts fan, don't miss "Unseen Peanuts" at the Fantagraphics store. In fact, waddling down to Georgetown when you're all stuffed with turkey would make a fine afternoon activity on Friday, the day of the preview. (Don't worry if you can't make it then—it runs till the end of the year.)
My parents got a bunch of the very earliest Peanuts books as a wedding gift, which I only realized later was kind of an absurd and cheap present. For me, though, they were pure gold and I read them again and again and again growing up, adding to the collection myself as more books came out. The early books are still one of my most prized possessions (and putative.com fun fact: the first one, "Peanuts," is the source of the top-left photo on the blog).
The strips on show in "Unseen Peanuts," though, have/had been never reprinted until Fantgraphics started its mega-collection—i.e., out of the 400 billion or so strips that Schulz produced, a few thousand slipped through the cracks and only ever appeared in the newspaper for a single day, never later in a collection. So you almost certainly won't have seen them. One more reason to go, as if that were necessary: if you buy something at the store, you get a free, annotated 32-page "comic book catalogue" with over 150 of the "Unseen" strips.
If you're a Flight of the Conchords fan, check it out.
The A.V. Club: Do you get a lot of reviews that have a condescending cutesiness, like, "Oh, she's so child-like"?
Kristen Schaal: Oh yeah. In Edinburgh [Fringe Festival], you're reviewed by hundreds of people. Someone called me "The Kooky Monster." [Laughs.] It was in a nice way. But they're all just astounded by how quirky and kooky I am. The "queen of the zany people." But I'm fine; I do have a persona in the show. I never play myself—you never know what you're going to get. But if I'm quirky, I can do more jokes than "My kids! My kids!" No one knows who the real me is, so I can be a hundred different kinds of me.
Crazy cat people duke it out with crazy bird people. In this bizarre story from this morning's NYT, a birder is on trial for shooting a cat under a bridge in Texas because it (whoops, *she*! "Mama Cat"!) was stalking endangered shorebirds. State law said that he could shoot a cat that didn't belong to anyone (the law has since been changed) and he admits to shooting "many cats" on his own property (which has a birder B&B), but the toll collector on the bridge had named "Mama Cat" and given her toys and bedding and all.
So the trial has all sorts of weirdness, including cat toys, gross cat autopsy photos "reminiscent of an episode of CSI: Miami," the guy's .22 with scope, etc. The best part, though—as with the title to this post—are the birder and catter comments, like this:
In an interview in a courthouse elevator during a break in the trial, Mr. Stevenson said heatedly that cat fanciers who have condemned him and sent him hateful correspondence “think birds are nothing but sticks.” “This is about wild species disappearing from your planet,” he said, adding, “I did what I had to do.”
If *I* were a cat, I would not fuck with this guy: