Thursday, July 16, 2009

Single Parenting, Big Beers and the state of Network Television

Those of you who have followed my, sporadic, ramblings in the past know that wife has an international convention which takes her away for 4-6 days annually. In the past this event has taken place in the fall so I take a week off work, play Mr. Mom and chill out.

This year, however, in order to cut costs (damn new economy) the convention was held in July because it's much cheaper to stay in NYC in July than in the Fall. The reason it's much cheaper of course is because no one in their right mind wants to swelter in New York in July, but that's another story. Now it's virtually impossible for me to get a week off in July but between fortunate flight times and a bit of juggling I got 5 days off and that covered the "time away".

In order to ensure that daughter and I did not cause each other grievous physical harm, through too much familiarity, daughter is spending 6 hours daily in Science Camp. This is the 3rd year for Science Camp, or Geek Camp as I refer to it when daughter is out of earshot, and she loves it. The camp breaks up the day and provides her with socialization as well as some new skills, she made a lava lamp on Monday. If it's hot we can stop at the pool on the way home or she can play with any number of neighbour's kids once we are home.

By the time dinner is done, a bit of computer time and bed approaches so I don't go crazy either. One of the amazing things to me about single parents is that they don't go crazy with the lack of solitude, but then my needs for solitude are greater than most peoples' I'm told. We had a couple of traumas while Momma was away, a severely dislocated finger (daughter's), and some sweater misplacement.

The fact that wife callously took her laptop with her on business was not appreciated by daughter as her "IncrediMail" software is not installed, and never will be, on my Mac so she couldn't email with smilies and animated kitties. But we survived.

Since it was supposed to be summer I decided to sample some craft beer in wife's absence. Each day I purchased a 650ml of something big and hoppy to experience, I generally don't do this because 650ml is too much for a single serving but if I can spread it out over an hour it's fine.

I really liked one, Boont ESB from Anderson Valley Brewing in California which had lovely balance and flavour and made me wish I'd bought two.

I really hated one, St. Rogue's Red from Rogue Brewing in Oregon which was way over hopped and had little else to it and made me sad I'd bought it.

I was ambivalent about the others but all in all it was a good exercise, and one I will repeat some time in the fall with darker Ales.

I also spent a couple of hours each day watching Season One of Life, a truly original Cop drama that was a mid season replacement in the spring of 2007 and then ran a full year in '08/'09. The show was almost impossible to find, but when I did it was always kind of like walking into a dive bar and discovering that they have 34 beer on tap and make the best cheeseburger in the world. The series was quirky, well written, had great acting and an ongoing plotline that begged for disclosure.

Sadly the show was canned to allow Jay Leno to have his variety show five nights a week in the fall. It really is to be expected, after all network television is no place for good writing and acting - plus many viewers expressed confusion as to why they were unable to vote anyone off of Life. I'm hoping someone resurrects the show but I'm not hopeful, if you know what I mean.