Nathan's Laserium: Half-Formed Thoughts in Late August

I was getting ice cubes from our fridge's ice-maker to put in the cooler for our upcoming little vacation. I pressed one of the six or so mysterious buttons on the panel of the ice-maker by accident. Power saver it said. Saving power is good, right? Yay for me!

Michelle pointed out that now the little digital readout said OF OF. "I think you just turned it off."

"No way," I said. "What kind of crazy fridge would have an off button? I think it says zero fahrenheit. See, there's this little power freeze button, I must have hit that by accident too." Being Canadian, fahrenheits have always been these weird inscrutable units that mean absolutely nothing in the real world, kind of like ha'pennies or cubits. So it didn't really seem like much of a stretch to assume that my fridge had a setting where you could power freeze the freezer down to zero fahrenheits. That certainly made more sense than a fridge with an off button.

Vacation was really great.

About a week later we came home and the fridge still said OF OF and also it really was off and all our food was ruined. Hundreds of dollars worth of food.

I still laugh at that part in Emperor's New Groove:

"Pull the lever, Kronk."

*splash*

"Why do we even have that lever?"

The answer to the question, "Why does my fridge even have that button?" is so that floor models in dealerships can have all the lights but not the power expenditure of actual refrigeration. I did not laugh at that part.

 

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I'm turning 40 shortly- September 11th. I'm doing okay with this fact. What's freaking me out a bit mroe is that my oldest daughter, Pallas, is starting kindergarten next week. How did that happen? She's still so new! She took pre-school out of her dayhome and "graduated" a couple of months ago. I was oddly proud of this feat, nearly tearing up a bit when I walked her home the last day, and even felt a pang of regret that I wouldn't be able to make it to the little graduation ceremony for her. But then I remembered the scene in The Incredibles where Mr. Incredible questions why they are having a similar ceremony for JackJack.  His exact words escape me but they illuminate the entire theme of the movie, which is essentially "Why be mediocre when you can be incredible?"

I'm certainly not saying that Pallas is mediocre, but between you and me, graduating pre-school doesn't really rank as her greatest achievement. She can do all kinds of stuff, like sing the entire soundtrack of Frozen, and name every member of the Sinister Six. She also made up her own superhero once, Owie Badguy. I dressed up as Owie for Halloween since he is so awesome. He punches badguys and makes them say "Owie!"

Did I mention she hasn't even started Kindergarten yet? She's pretty incredible.

 

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I bought Pallas a new book I'd heard of on Twitter, written by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by noted comics-letterer-and-penciller Chris Eliopoulos, called 'I Am Amelia Earhart'. As you might expect, it's a book for little girls about how little girls can do anything they bloody well please, even when others say you can't or shouldn't. This is an important lesson I whole-heartedly agree with and have been trying to impart, with some success, to both our daughters. Our youngest, Naia, seems to have this lesson encoded in her DNA or something, but Pallas sometimes needs reminding, and then is able to kick ten tons of ass.

The book was a hit, became our recurring night-night story several days in a row (thankfully and appropriately, it doesn't get into Amelia's ultimate fate). The thing that seems to have impressed Pallas the most about Amelia, however, is that someone made a book about her.

"Dad, when I grow up, I want to be in a book too."

"Oh. Good for you! You know, uh, just do some incredible things like Amelia and someone will probably write a book about you I'm sure."

"Were you ever in a book?"

"No. No, I think it might be too late for me for that."

She actually came back to me a few times and asked me why it was too late for me. I didn't really have a good answer. Well, did I mention I'm turning 40 soon? That's practically death's door.

No it's not. Truthfully, I never really wanted to be IN a book. But I always kind of wanted to be ON a book- my name on the cover I mean.

A nice little kick in the ass from my daughter courtesy of Amelia Earhart.

 

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I wasn't going to write these little anecdotes up unless I could find a uniting theme, and the theme of this mini-essay is themes! Cue theme music here. The discerning reader will note that I didn't really elucidate the theme of Emperor's New Groove, but only because that's one everyone knows, right? Try not to get turned into a llama if you can help it.

 

- Nathan Waddell