Re-launched, but still slightly under construction. :-)

Thursday, December 29, 2005

My little sweetie!

One day after she turned 11 months, Emerson stood up without assistance for the first time. She’s done it before, but has almost immediately fallen over. This time, she stood up, wobbled, and crouched down. Then she stood up again! It was awesome!

I “yay”ed and clapped for her, and she grinned all huge and did it again - and then again, as I kept clapping and praising her. She did it every once in a while, and then she would look at me with her eyebrows raised as though to say, “See that? I think I have this thing down!” It was awesome.

My little sweetie!

One day after she turned 11 months, Emerson stood up without assistance for the first time. She’s done it before, but has almost immediately fallen over. This time, she stood up, wobbled, and crouched down. Then she stood up again! It was awesome! I “yay”ed and clapped for her, and she grinned all huge and did it again - and then again, as I kept clapping and praising her. She did it every once in a while, and then she would look at me with her eyebrows raised as though to say, “See that? I think I have this thing down!”

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas Steve

It’s our first Christmas Day with Emerson, and we’ve already had a month-long argument with Scott’s mom about how we’re going to spend it. She actually was MAD at me because I wouldn’t let her have Emerson Christmas Eve. I was like, “She’s our daughter. Can we have one normal family Christmas morning with her?”

She also was inviting us to go to Christmas Eve candlelight service at [her church]. Oops, I meant to say that she was DEMANDING we go. Scott’s conversion to Hinduism has made her all kinds of religious. Now she claims that she goes to church “EVERY Sunday,” which is bullshit. Anyway, our conversation went like this...

“Chris and Allison and Vivian and Jacob are going with us, so we would LOVE it if you and Scott and Emerson would come.”

“Oh, no, thank you, Patsy. I don’t think Scott’s in a particularly churchy mood right now.”

“Well, it’s going to be beautiful.”

“I’m sure it will. Ya’ll have a good time.”

“Well, can we just take Emerson?”

“We’d like to spend the holiday with her.”

“Why don’t ya’ll bring her with you?”

“No, thank you, Patsy. Ya’ll enjoy the service.”

“I just want you to see the inside of the church. It’s such a beautiful church!”

“I’ve seen it before. It’s lovely.”

“Oh, have you been inside it?”

“Yes, Patsy, I don’t burst into flames on the doorstep!”

Sunday, December 04, 2005

I'm not usually this shallow.

But I had on the TV for background noise while I was writing my column, and “The West Wing” was on. I love Janeane Garofalo, so looked up and what the hell is up with her eyebrows?

Before:

http://www.imdb.com/gallery/ss/0246464/Ss/0246464/16-C57-10.jpg
After:
http://us.tv1.yimg.com/tv.yahoo.com/images/he/photo/tv_pix/nbc/the_west_wing_cast_photos/janeane_garofalo/west3.jpg

See? Freakish.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Adolescented

I did a bad thing. I’ve been pining for music that doesn’t rely on a middle-class white boy screaming into the microphone while another middle-class white boy plays power chords with a stop-starty sound. I downloaded Limewire.

I can’t afford to go out and buy CDs whenever I want to. I love Madonna - what child of the 80s doesn’t have a special place in their heart for her? - but I’m not sure her new album is worth the money. So I downloaded “Hung Up.” Glad I didn’t buy it. But it sent me off into an orgy of downloading, which just ruined all my memories of the music I listened to in high school.

I found old Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, Urban Dance Squad, and Kings X. Does anyone remember these bands? I thought they were much better than they actually are. My taste sucked.

I branched out into Joy Division, Bauhaus, and Siouxie and the Banshees. I don’t remember life being quite that bad. I loved them when I was younger, but now they bore me. It was just music to mope to.

The favorite standbys are still solid: Sonic Youth, Husker Du, Nine Inch Nails, The Indigo Girls,

I worked up a sweat searching for Melissa Ferrick, Soul Minor’s Daughter, Johnny Quest, and Jump, Little Children. Not many people are fans, even though Ms. Ferrick won a Ms. Magazine Award; Soul Minor’s Daughter was fronted by Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland Fame; and - well, okay, Johnny Quest never really went anywhere and Jump, Little Children have kind of fizzled out, too. The former I don’t really care about, and the latter is a shame. They had some real talent AND commercial appeal.

Then I looked for some of the more obscure bands I liked in my early twenties: Dead Can Dance, The Drovers, Ednaswap, Sugar, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Velocity Girl, the Connells, Dig, Me Phi Me, Morphine, Ani Difranco - all bands I played while DJ-ing college radio. Some of them are no longer obscure.

That lead me to the college radio staples of my youth: R.E.M., 10,000 Maniacs, B-52s, etc. I realized that I never bought R.E.M. music, that I just listened to tapes that friends made me. So I downloaded as much of their catalog as possible. When I was done, I listened to songs I haven’t heard for years: “Drive,” “Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight,” “Fireplace.” Then I listened to them again... and once again.

I realized something important: I have no freaking idea what they’re talking about. Let me give you an example:

“The cat in the hat came back, wreaked a lot of havoc on the way,
always had a smile and a reason to pretend.
But their world has flat backgrounds and little need to sleep but to dream.
The sidewinder sleeps on his back.”


Clearly that is for “Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight.” But what does it mean? Here, let me give you another example:

I’d studied your cartoons, radio, music, tv, movies, magazines
Richard said, “Withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy”
A smile like the cartoon, tooth for a tooth
You said that irony was the shackles of youth
You wore a shirt of violent green, uh-huh
I never understood the frequency, uh-huh


Now, any fan of R.E.M. knows where these lyrics fit, which is right into “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?” a song about the attack by a schizophrenic on a news anchor, during which the attacker ran towards the newscaster screaming, “Kenneth! What’s the frequency?” to his partner, who was monitoring to see

I’ll finish this later.... baby calling to the faraway towns. Now war is declared, and battle come down.