Tuesday, December 30, 2008
And while you're there, tell me what you're doing for Inauguration Day! We're still trying to decide about trekking downtown for the big event...
Monday, December 29, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Retrieve the top 100 songs from that year.
Put the songs you hate(d) in red, italicize the songs you like(d), bold the songs you love(d) and leave alone the ones you either don’t remember or don’t care about.
1. When Doves Cry, Prince (1)
2. What's Love Got To Do With It, Tina Turner
This has been a week of school activities: parties, performances and pageants. Maggie had her very first taste of performing on Tuesday night with Weekday Nursery. Mrs. McGuirk, Mrs. Carr and Mrs. Bellamy are amazing -- year after year, they somehow manage to get about 20 three- to four-year old kids to sing a about 20 songs and recite several poems. Frankly, I don't know how they do it (even though Maggie practiced for weeks and weeks and weeks, that's a lot of memorization for such little kids!) She told Mrs. Bellamy before the program that she would "be fabulous" and confirmed it to us after the show. And she wasn't the kid digging for gold, which I count as a big win!
Paul's school had their Christmas pageant on Wednesday night. All grades (pre-k through 8) perform, and there's a reenactment of the nativity story, too. Paul was great -- a very engaged, active performer (and focused, which is always a surprise with the boy), but I think the part he liked best was hanging with the ladies while they waited. In all honesty, the ladies seemed to enjoy it, too. He is soooo much like his dad.
So I'm not ready for next week at all (still trying to get through party preparations for Paul's class!) Our tree has lights but no decorations (and I finally remembered to water it today), I haven't done much shopping or baking (weird, I know) and the house is a mess. But the Christmas pageants have once again worked their magic, and I'm feeling filled by the Christmas spirit. It's possible that I might rethink that once I take a look at the house and the tree and ... and... but for now, Merry Christmas!
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
-- Dr. Seuss, How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Well. Said boy's class is doing a long-term reading project -- Read Across America. The class earns mileage for each time increment they read, and the point is to make it all the way across the country (hence the name). For each major stop, there's a worksheet, and the first one was about Maryland. We worked on it last week, and got to the part about well-known people from the state, so we looked that information up... Edgar Allan Poe, Harriet Tubman, Babe Ruth... Paul could have picked any of those. Who does he pick instead? Last name on the list: Frank Zappa.
And that's why Paul wins. He will always choose the answer in the far left field. And I hope he always does. Now, if he could just focus...
(He made a fantastic little Zappa drawing, too. I'll post it soon.)
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
What's that? What have I been reading? Honestly (and somewhat shamefully), I read (too many) blogs in the middle of the night. Daily Kos, AmericaBlog, MediaMatters, Smitten Kitchen, PostPunk Kitchen, Gawker, Wonkette, Via Chicago, Sorry I Missed Your Party...I'm all over the place (which explains alot, doesn't it?) As far as books go, I'm not trying too hard lately. I've just finished Kurt Vonnegut's A Man Without A Country (he was sort of a coot near the end...) and a really truly trashy book about the Rolling Stones: Exile on Main Street: A Season in Hell with the Rolling Stones (which could not have been worse if sheep wrote it -- a.w.f.u.l.), so I'm sort of at loose ends. There's a stack (of smart books) next to the bed and another stack (of even smarter books) in the living room, but I'm just not really feeling any of those books these days (also, I seem to have the attention span of a newt).
So I'm hoping that you can help me out with a few great recommendations. I'm not looking for a big "commitment" book but not another rock band book, either. I'd like an engaging read, yet something that I won't feel guilty about falling asleep on, night after night. Because that's what will happen. Any advice?
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Well, here's a tale that will warm even the coldest of hearts. I saw a great optomistrist Sunday -- no appointment (he had some stuff to say about my background and age-related eye stuff, but I'm choosing to ignore that for now.) Picked out glasses Sunday afternoon and was told 10-14 business days to get them, though sometimes they arrive in less time. Tuesday was notified that glasses were in. Wednesday, went to DMV armed with papers, work, iPhone, etc, expecting a loooong wait. They were sooooo nice. Twenty minutes later, I was out the door, renewed license in hand.
The moral? Get your eyes tested. You probably do need a new prescription. Get those new glasses. Go to the DMV. You'll be happy you did.
Friday, November 14, 2008
and while I'm sure there are a million better things to do (catching The Hot Noodles at Mayorga Coffee Factory in Silver Spring between 7:00 and 10:00pm springs to mind), this wouldn't be a bad way to spend at least part of Saturday...
Fortunately for us, we recently inherited a relatively new fridge from people who were fastidious about fridge cleanliness, so I'm not going to be partaking in this national exercise...sometimes things work out my way. Rarely, but sometimes.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
How to Feed a Vegan for Three Days or More
The following series of steps will help you to feed even the pickiest vegan coming your way. Be prepared to visit your nearest natural food store, eat some of this grub yourself, and thrill your vegan beyond words.
Prepare the first meal. You'll need to ask the vegan a bunch of questions outlined in the next step, but your guest might get hungry before you get a chance to do so. In that case, a great first meal option is spaghetti. You can get vegan noodles (easy, just check the package to make sure there aren’t egg whites or dairy in them). Check your tomato sauce to make sure that there isn’t Parmesan or other cheese in it. Mushrooms are a great vegan sauce addition, like your meaty meatballs, they can be cooked separately and added to the food at the end. One fun processed food product is vegan Parmesan cheese in a shake can. It is a fun addition to the table as a condiment for vegans. Make your own garlic bread with fresh garlic- instead of butter, use olive oil or vegan margarine (check for whey on the label) to mix and spread the garlic and salt. Get a simple sourdough or French bread; check the label for dairy or eggs. Steamed vegetables make a healthy side dish (use olive oil, don't use butter). This is a simple meal, and over dinner you can subtly find out most answers to the questions below.
Find out how strict your vegan is. The way to a vegan’s heart is through his/her stomach. There are a few questions that you want to ask a vegan before deciding what food to make them. Be prepared for your vegan to not be a true vegan, it is difficult to avoid every single animal by-product, and some people use the title “vegan” because it is easier than saying, “I am a vegetarian that eats no animal products, mostly no dairy products, no eggs, but I am not vegan because I eat honey and casein, and questionable milk chocolate if I am PMSing.” Onto the questions!
Do they eat cane sugar? (This question may result in a long treatise about how they sometimes use animal bones to bleach conventional cane sugar, even brown sugar, just stop them in their tracks and say, “I know, I plan on using unbleached organic cane sugar, I just want to know if you have a sweet tooth.”) If they do eat cane sugar, you are home free, almost everything you make for them the rest of your omnivorous family will be happy to eat. If they respond that they only use a little agave nectar or stevia, don’t have a sweet tooth, or don’t like sweets, we can still help you feed them, just be prepared to have two levels of sweetness, one for your family and one for them.
Do they eat casein (milk protein)? This will show you how serious they really are. Many people eat tofu cheeses with casein in them (sometimes as much as 20% casein). The casein tastes decent (to vegetarians), and melts when heated, separating it from much of the vegan cheese on the market. If they do eat casein, ask them what brand of “cheese” they eat. Buy that brand, it will make them very happy. If they are true vegans, they only have a few options. Your vegan may not want any fake cheese, this is a way to understand if they like processed foods at all. Some don’t. Many people find any soy cheese vile tasting and unsatisfying. This is not a good food to feed your family as an example of “vegan food,” they won't like it (use vegan ice cream instead).
Do they like fake meats? Some vegans have strong opinions on this subject. Others were raised on meat and potatoes, and those habits die hard. Tofu, Tempeh, and Seitan are great meat alternatives, but they require knowledge of how to make them taste good (this might be too much of a challenge for you). If you cook meat alternatives, cut them small, marinate, cook thoroughly, and serve hot. Fake meats are already flavored and can be a great time saver that can make a meal seem heartier.
What kind of milk substitute do they drink? Soy, almond, rice or none of the above? You can get specific enough to ask about brand if you want. Soymilk is easy to find, you can buy it anywhere now, and most major brands taste good. Many contain ample amounts of sugar, keep this in mind and apply the answer to the question about sugar. It is rare for vegans to drink a glass of soymilk with dinner; water, tea, carbonated beverages, (or in rare cases) coffee and alcoholic beverages are more likely to please. Soymilk in a vegan house is often used for baking, on cereal, in tea and coffee, and not for drinking.
Do they have any allergies or strong dislikes to other foods? If you are going through all of the trouble to make them vegan food, make sure that they are going to like it, and be able to eat it. Some vegans don’t like fruits and vegetables, so feed them what they will like, and then they won’t have that starved/pinched expression that will force them to jump ship for the nearest natural food store to eat packaged food in the aisle before they pay for it.
Proceed with purchasing and cooking food for your vegan, after answering all of the questions above and below.
Do they eat honey? If you're tired of asking questions, just don’t use it. Maple syrup and agave nectar are fine alternatives when you need a liquid sweet, just remember to check labels: granola, bread, and cereals are three places you often find honey. The vegan won’t care that honey isn’t around, but some will really care if it is in their food.
Do they eat whey? Just don’t buy products with whey in them. Whey is usually one of the last ingredients on many labels. Whey and gelatin can be sneaky ways you can feed your vegan things they really don't want to eat.
If a label goes on for a mile, many of the “natural flavors” as well as other ingredients you won’t recognize, can contain animal products and by-products. Stick to simple, less processed foods, your vegan will be happier, and you won’t go blind reading the fine print on those labels. Some packaged foods even have a V on them for vegan, this is rare but thrilling when you find one.
Do they eat non-organic foods? When cooking for a vegan, organic vegetables, fruits, and oil can be really important ways for them to feel at home in your home.
Do they eat white flour? Your vegan might prefer alternative flours like spelt flour (white spelt is amazingly light and yummy, but more expensive), whole wheat flour (prepare for hockey puck cookies and cupcakes) or no flour. Again, this goes back to the processed foods issue. Some vegans refer to white flour and sugar as “white death,” needless to say, you might think twice about feeding them these substances.
Discover a few different breakfast options. Breakfast can be very easy. Toast with peanut or almond butter, berries and tea is an excellent breakfast. Oatmeal with soymilk, raisins, berries and ground flax is also a great breakfast. Muffins can be easily made vegan. Granola or cereal with the milk substitute of their choice is a great option. Pancakes and French toast are two easy meals to make vegan. French toast in particular is amazing, no sulfur egg aftertaste, vanilla flavor rules, if you have a picky kid, they might prefer the vegan French toast recipe to normal French toast (just don’t tell them that silken tofu is involved).
How to Make Vegan Pancakes
How to Make a Vegan Smoothie
Have a few lunch and dinner options on hand.
Once you have an answer to the cheese question (casein, vegan, or no processed foods) a great lunch meal is tacos or enchiladas. The excellent thing about this meal is that you can have multiple kinds of shells (corn, spelt, or wheat) and multiple cheeses (dairy, casein, vegan, or none). People can build a taco or enchilada to their own food preferences and you don’t necessarily have to know exactly what those preferences are. Refried beans (watch for lard on the ingredient list) are a wonderful high protein food for all of us. Mushrooms, olives, tofu, tempeh, and walnuts are other excellent foods to add to this meal.
Summer grilling is a great way to feed your vegan. Clean a portion of your grill to be veggies only. Corn grills beautifully if soaked in a water-filled bucket for an hour first. Steamed artichokes are great for grilling. Portobello mushrooms become a burger themselves when grilled. Kabobs with a mix of veggies and meat alternatives marinated in teriyaki or soy sauce mixes are great. Vegan sausages and hotdogs are great, as are vegan veggie burgers (some veggie burgers have egg and dairy products in them). Make sure your burger/dog buns are vegan; check the labels for egg, whey, and milk products.
Soup and sandwiches can be a great lunch. Tomato soup with rice, miso soup with green onions and tofu, minestrone with veggies and noodles (make sure the noodles aren’t egg noodles). Veggie sandwiches lightly grilled with olive oil, avocado added after. Crackers to break up in the soup, or French bread with olive oil are a great way to fill out a soup meal. Sprouted grain breads (freezer section of natural foods area) for those with the healthy vegan gene can be used to make quite delicious sandwiches.
Curry is an excellent meal that can easily be made vegan but still really rich. Coconut milk, garbanzo beans, cauliflower, garlic, ginger, and tofu or tempeh work great for this dish. Most recipes are already vegan or can easily be altered to be vegan. Check chili paste ingredients for fish products. Curry powder is vegan. Use white or brown basmati rice to go with this meal.
Pizza is an excellent choice for most vegans. Buy or make pizza dough as usual. Great toppings for vegans include: basil, pine nuts, olives, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts, spinach, onions, and peppers. Pesto made with basil, garlic and pine nuts without Parmesan is a great sauce, as is marinara. Even without cheese this meal is great for vegans, but if you have their fake cheese of choice, this meal becomes even better. Vegan cheese needs to be next to the sauce in order to melt effectively so make it the second ingredient that you put on the pizza if you are using this type of cheese substitute.
How to Make Basic Vegan Nut Roast
How to Make Hazelnut & Split Pea Vegan Roast
How to Make Vegan Vietnamese Summer Rolls
Make dessert. Vegan desserts are an area that has seen vast improvement in the last 10 years. The quality and quantity of available products alone is huge. For dessert, you can easily purchase a vegan version of whatever you eat for dessert yourselves. If you are having ice cream, get a pint of vegan ice cream. Some vegans report that Rice Dream is not as delicious as other ice creams on the market. There are also rich coconut based ice creams that are decadent. Vegan cookies are also widely available, both locally made, and commercial varieties. It is a great idea to have a pint or two of in season organic berries or fruit to offer in case they don’t eat processed foods or sweets. Those berries can easily be incorporated into breakfast if they do eat the ice cream and cookies. There are also some great cookie recipes on-line, just Google “vegan cookie recipe” and check the sources and citations below. Dark chocolate is often vegan (check labels for milk products and butter). Vegan chocolate chips are available in the bulk and baking sections of most natural foods stores. Vegan cupcakes are also very easy to make and extremely gratifying; the whole family will enjoy them.
How to Make Vegan Cupcakes
How to Make Princess Cake (Vegan)
How to Make Cookies and Cream Vegan Ice Cream
How to Make Vegan Cheesecake with Tofutti
Remember that few vegans are alike in their food tastes. Do not expect that the next vegan you run into will have the same food tastes as your current vegan. A person may be vegan for nutritional reasons, for ethical/religious reasons, and/or for environmental reasons. In addition, they may be “freegans” (people who will only buy vegan, but if something is about to be thrown away, or is offered for free, they will eat it, even meat). They may be “raw foodists” this means they will only eat foods that are cooked below 110 degrees F, or are raw. Vegans may be really strict or not true vegans at all, they just use the label to simplify down to food choices that they prefer to eat as mentioned above. All self-described vegans are trying to do something that is very difficult, and it can seem like they are thwarted at every turn and treated like a second-class citizen at many restaurants. Imagine not being able to order 95% of the menu, or being told something is vegetarian or vegan only to discover it isn’t. It would be like if you were on a diet, and someone offered you a piece of cheesecake and promised you it was diet cheesecake with only 50 calories, and then after you ate it, they said it wasn’t diet and it had 500 calories, and they laughed. So if your vegan is a bit gun-shy about trusting others with food, it is usually with good reason.
Avoid mixing their food with meat residue. Some foods are processed on the same machinery as dairy foods, meaning they may contain trace amounts of dairy foods in them. If your vegan is willing to eat off of your pots and pans they will probably have trace amounts of dairy/meat products in their food anyway, so take this one whatever way you want, unless they said “no” to the first three questions above, in which case you will need to avoid most packaged foods anyway, and you may want to purchase a pot strictly for their food to be cooked in. If you never clean your cast iron pan, assume that your vegan will be able to taste some of the meat that you have cooked on there over the years. Try to use predominately one pan for your vegan during the duration of their stay, and make a point of keeping it somewhat separate from the meaty pans. If you hand wash dishes, clean their pan first before you clean the meaty dishes; the vegan will be so overwhelmed by your thoughtfulness he/she will not hesitate to return to your home again. (Which you may or may not want.)
Well, at least they got the part about breakfast and dessert right (we do like them!) But we just seem so...difficult (I wouldn't like me either with this list.) Gee, I know a lot of meat eaters that have waaayyyyyy more food issues than I do.
Now, back to The Joys of Vegan Baking...
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
We're allowing Paul to stay up late tonight -- this is a once in a lifetime event, and he will remember this (and probably save his colored map for posterity...)
I hope we have enough Twix to see us through tonight!
Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Learn more about voter registration from the Maryland State Board of Elections and make sure that you're registered.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
This is a big deal. I have **conveniently** put the needs and schedules of other people (yea, kids!) ahead of my need to go to the dentist, the doctor, the optometrist... I know I'm not the only one who does this. It's just that I am -- right now -- stopping this practice. I went to the dentist this morning, and by golly, I'm doing it again in a few weeks. So there. And the optometrist, too. And, pretty soon, the doctor. I am all over this.
(By the way, I do realize that this picture depicts a kid in a costume, not an actual doctor. I'm fairly certain that my doctor is a little older. and she has a real jacket and office and stuff like that.)
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Gratuitous photos of Maggie, because I am soooooo tired.
If you don't already have one of these, you really should get your own personal fairy princess. They're a lot of work and they get awfully messy and can be a little temperamental, but every so often, they rock. Actually, mine usually rocks, but then she spends most of the day not being my friend anymore, with chocolate ice cream coating her front and mud coating her back. Today was one of those days...but she's still my girl.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
There should be some magic wand that will, whenever you want, take you back to when your children were tiny babies and you spent the days (and nights) holding their little sleeping bodies on your chest while listening to them breathe and counting their fingers and toes over and over to make sure everything was there. When your kids are that small, it's impossible to soak up all the details you're going to want to remember when they're going off to nursery school, or second grade, or college.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Last week, there was an article about his 400-member group in the Denver Catholic Register. My nephew Sam thinks that his grandpa is famous... Me? I just think he's awesome. In fact, as he gets older I think he becomes even more active, and he continues to challenge himself to do even more for the people around him. There should be more people like him who are active in their communities and show the real spirit of the Catholic faith.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
And why, you may ask, did we go all the way down to the VA/NC border?
So we had a terrific long weekend with great people and I got more sleep than I have in months. Fantastic. And then...
Okay, I'm one of those people who think that jury duty is a good thing. I've been called several times, but was never put on a trial. Until this week. All I'm going to say: Do not do drugs. Do not use guns. If you have to use drugs, do not use guns at the same time. We'll all be alot better off if you just take my advice.
Monday night, after a quick yummy dinner at Eat First, we went to see Grizzly Bear at the 6th & I Synagogue in DC. A band I'd never heard of, Violens, opened (but I will seek them out!) It was the most polite show I've ever attended, and we were probably the only people there who had to get home to a babysitter (thanks, Abby!) Also, Charles said that every guy in the restroom while he was there washed their hands. Impressive fans, Grizzly Bear.
My jury duty ended early (plea deal) and I went to a little coffee place in Upper Marlboro that I've driven past so many times: More than Coffee! They make an incredibly good black bean and corn salad -- warm, tossed with oil and lots of cumin, and served over lettuce. (And really good soy cappuccino...) So after a relaxing lunch and a stop to buy school supplies for the boy, we got to spend Tuesday afternoon at the pool. You know those days when the cold water is especially welcome because you've been laying in the hot sun? Yeah. And we ended last night with a fantastic vegan meal made by some new friends and shared with some old ones.
So. In less than a week, four bands. Three states. The pool. Lots of great friends and food. Civic duty. Not a bad way to wind down summer...
Monday, August 4, 2008
Sunday, August 3, 2008
We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
Friday, August 1, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Also, I'm procrastinating.
First 20 in random shuffle:
* Outkast, Dracula's Wedding: I love Outkast. I like to sing along when I'm alone in the car, but most of the songs are not singalongs for children and it's really hard to stop singing when Outkast is on.
* Bob Marley & the Wailers, Work: This makes me think of working at Glimmerglass Opera and staying in scary housing with a ghost cat who left fresh pee markings every time I left the creepy old house. Oh, and it was across the street from a graveyard.
* Parliament, Chocolate City: When I was in 6th grade, we moved from NYC to Denver. I got invited to my first party with dancing. I could not dance. Parliament was playing (the song was Flashlight). I was mortified. Shudder...
* David Bowie, Try Some, Buy Some: Let me count the ways...
* Pat Benatar, Hit Me with your Best Shot: Here's my big embarrassment for the day! And you thought it would be that I couldn't dance in 6th grade. Silly you! I like to sing along with this one, too. There. I have no pride left.
* Mos Def, Ms. Fat Booty: Not sure if I've even actually listened to this. Why, oh why couldn't something familiar and cool -- like Psapp or Phospherescent or Big Star...even Spacehog -- come next?
* Billy Bragg, A New England: I used to frequent a great show venue in Denver in the early-mid '80s -- the Rainbow Room (like my youth, long since dead). I saw fantastic shows there (Halloween night with the Cure and Siouxsee & the Banshees opening, front row for Psychedelic Furs and Richard Butler singing Pretty in Pink to me -- I was wearing a bright pink '50s cocktail dress with rhinestones, many early REM shows...) Billy Bragg opened for somebody (a band that obviously made a big, big impression). A lot of us would wait out all day for these shows, and Billy Bragg came out and played a one-man band contraption for the crowd waiting to get in. Amazing. And he gets extra points for his work on Mermaid Avenue.
* The Clash, The Prisoner: Also in Denver, I got to see The Clash at Red Rocks on the Combat Rock tour. I tried to sleep in the next day. Unfortunately, I was on the cover of the Rocky Mountain News Sunday edition and many of my parents' friends felt the need to call. I'm embarrassed to say that I had a total Molly Ringwald getup on. I was in the front row, though.
* Radiohead, Optimistic: We have tried to see Radiohead what...four times now? Tibetan Freedom Festival (stopped mid-show due to lightning striking a girl across the field during Herbie Hancock & the Headhunters' reunion performance of Watermelon Man; a 9:30 club midnight show announced at the last minute -- we happened to be in front of the club but had to go get someone at the airport; a field that flooded; and a near miss at Merriweather a few years ago -- what band starts on time? We were stuck in a long line of traffic waiting to get in...made it for the encore). I've given up on ever seeing more than 30 minutes of Radiohead live. Didn't even try this year. Charles thinks he spent time in a pub with some/all of them at Oxford. Call me crazy, but I have a feeling that there are a lot of pale, pasty shoe-gazing intellectual teenagers there.
* The Beatles, Thank You Girl: Yeah, yeah. I know. There's a whole lot of Beatles on my iPod. Actually, I really thought Wilco would be the winner. I may have to rethink my allegiances.
* Neil Young, I Believe in You: When we lived in San Francisco (Haight & Stanyan), Neil Young and Pearl Jam played a free show in Golden Gate Park. It was so loud. I was so annoyed. I was a music school snob. I am an idiot. The Grateful Dead also played a show in the park that you could hear from the Conservatory (19th & Ortega). I may not have been the right person to be living in San Francisco in the late '80s/early '90s...
* The Jam, The Place I Love: Loved the Jam, liked Style Council. Not so big on Paul Weller solo...
* Paul Westerberg, Something Is Me: I swear, he could breathe and I would love it. And listen to it over and over. And be oh so grateful. I am so easy to please.
* Blondie, X Offender: Do you remember when Debbie Harry was a guest on The Muppets? I do. We watched that show every Sunday night. I still can't really figure out how CBGB spawned such a wide variety of acts...
* David Bowie, Queen Bitch: Don't you feel just a little tough but glamorous when you listen to Bowie? My best friend in 7th grade and I certainly did. I still do.
* Chaka Demus, Twist and Shout: Ska, ska, ska.
* Echo & the Bunnymen, Rescue: I can still smell the aquanet. By the way, do you remember the old aquanet can? Long ago, it used to have a wavy top. My dad designed that can. I tried to find a picture on google, but no luck. But I did learn that you can make fairy dust using dried hairspray. So that 15 minutes wasn't a total loss.
* Skankin' Pickle, Turning Japanese: High school. A long trip on the bus from Denver to Muncie, Indiana for the International Thespian Conference. A lot of dramatic teenagers and one teacher. What in the world were our parents thinking? I did meet a great guy there -- Jim from Grosse Ile, Michigan. Jim actually came to visit me in Colorado. For some reason, I couldn't come out of my room that week, and poor Jim spent his whole trip with my mom in the living room. I am so sorry, Jim from Michigan. And Mom, too. I'm really sorry.
* Loose Fur, Carnival Knowledge: Charles tells me that the only reason that Autumn Defense is on my iPod is because of Wilco. I'll have to admit that I never would have picked it up without the Wilco cred. But I do like it. He says you can just imagine the sweaters and Ovaltine (note that he doesn't say "tea"). And poetry books and mumbling. I really like Loose Fur. They sound like the bar band you wish you'd tumble upon in a seedy bar on a winter's night. Glowing review, eh?
* The Who, I've Had Enough (from the Quadrophenia soundtrack) There used to be a theater on Colfax in Denver that did the midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show (more nights that I care to admit...) For a time, they also did Sunday afternoon Quadrophenia showings. Denver in the early to mid-80s wasn't all bad...
So, what's on your iPod? And no skipping!
Until today, that is. This morning, MasterP (pretty much) voluntarily did his work without (too much) complaining. I was as surprised as you! He even asked me to take pictures so that we could remember this day. There were some conversational gems...
Working on sight-recognition words (the text was a little smudged so he missed one or two that he normally would get):
"Not quite. It's 'could'."
"Oh yeah. 'Could.' That's a classic."
The conversation after he finished:
"Mom? Mom, would you say this was the best I ever did workbooks, an average time or worse than usual?"
"Hmmm. Well, it was pretty good."
"Mom. I really need to know your full answer here."
What do you suppose he has up his sleeve? A survey?
I pushed my luck, though. I offered him a bribe -- I mean incentive -- to complete additional pages each day. He ran (and I can hear the lovely strains of Lego xBox now). I knew I was going too far.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
* The Specials, Rat Race: In high school I loved LOVED The Specials, then Fun Boy Three. It was really Terry Hall.
* The Beatles, Your Mother Should Know: C'mon. If you know me, you know that the Beatles have like a 98% chance of appearing in random shuffle (even with 4,465 songs currently loaded.)
* The Roots, Sacrifice: Charles gave me this album when it came out. I really want to listen to it, but most of it isn't exactly appropriate for the seven and under set, so I usually have to fast forward.
* Bob Dylan, Can't Wait: Okay, I admit it. I really didn't "get" Dylan until a few years ago. Then I was driving alone one day and his lyrics just smacked me in the brain. I had to pull over, close my eyes and listen to the whole song. Twice.
* Cheap Trick, If You Want My Love: Charles has wooed me more than once by singing Cheap Trick songs. Also, even though they're old (well, older than me) they're still cool and they still rock.
* The Beatles, Revolution: See above.
* Elvis Costello, So Like Candy: High school. I really should go back and thank my friends' older siblings for turning me on to some cool stuff.
* The Police, Demolition Man: You know what I hate? Sting. But man, can that guy sing.
* Outkast, My Favorite Things: Paul & Maggie know more Outkast songs than they probably should. This, however, makes me think of Paul McCartney singing Till There Was You. I bet he got lots of girls on that one.
* The Talking Heads, The Overload: "Stop Making Sense". Best movie date. Ever.
* Gary Numan, Cars: God, I hate iTunes. It allows you to buy old crap you shouldn't have enjoyed so much in the first place. This was Paul's favorite song for a time (it's currently Nowhere Man).
* Billy Bragg & Wilco, Another Man's Done Gone: Frankly, I'm surprised that this is Wilco's first entry on this shuffle. For the amount that I actually listen to Wilco, they should be about every other song here.
* David Bowie, Please Mr. Gravedigger: I'm a great fan of Bowie's later work. He just keeps getting better and better.
* Paul Simon, Kodachrome: Gets stuck in my head for days.
* Sonic Youth, JC: Thurston Moore.
* The Cure, Lullaby: They were -- for a time -- my favorite band. Now it feels like reading the diary of a fourteen-year old.
* U2, All Because of You: I dunno. I hate to admit it, but I'm pretty lukewarm on U2.
* Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nobody Weird Like Me: "Mother's Milk"-era Peppers remind me of moving back to San Francisco when I was 21.
* Violent Femmes, Confessions: Charles and I have very different views of the Femmes, in that I love them. He does not.
* Led Zeppelin, Heartbreaker: For some reason, the string dudes at the conservatory really, really loved Led Zeppelin. Watching cellists and violists try to be cool is funny.
* The Replacements, Nightclub Jitters: Another thank you to the big brothers and sisters in high school.
* Psychedelic Furs, Sister Europe: I love Richard Butler's voice.
(Okay that was 22. The next thing that popped up was Siouxsee & the Banshees, Hong Kong Garden.)
So...what's on your iPod?