Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Rose’s song


Rose told me this morning at the breakfast table, “I was making a song about my life and one part was ‘when I was nine I got my ears pierced on January 21.’  And then I wanted to write a part about the Christmas puppy and how we got Ada on November 27.  Didn’t we have a party Wednesday night?”

“This Wednesday night?” I asked, confused.

“No.  The day before Thanksgiving.  The day you brought Ada home and then went to work and Dillon and I got to play with the new puppy.”

“Oh, that party!  The Flaming Archbishop.  Yes, we always go to a party the night before Thanksgiving,” I said.  “So what else is in the song of your life?”

“The popcorn party when I was three.  Also that I did racks and tubes when I was 7, 8, and 9.  That was so fun.  And the chalkboard.  I never got a lesson from Ms. Diana about the tone bars though and now I am at a different school and they don’t have tone bars.”

I can’t wait to hear this song.


Radio Lab


We got Dillon tickets to Radio Lab Live for his birthday – they were in Milwaukee last week and he was REALLY excited.  The show was at the Riverside and we met Rachel at Mo’s for dinner first, and allowed D to order both soda and dessert, which I never do (special occasion dispensation).  But the food was pretty good, and since it is a block from the theatre you can’t beat the location.

Small parental pet peeve – when the ticket says ‘doors open at 7pm’ but does not inform you when the show will actually begin.  So we got there a little after 7pm but ended up waiting in the hallway for forty minutes.  Then, they open the doors for real, we get to sit in our seats, and the usher gives us a package containing a button-cell battery and an LED.  It took D all of a minute to figure out how it worked, and we had another 20 minutes or so to play with it before the show actually started.  I know I am more uptight about this than I used to be, but it was a long day of soccer games and running around, and knowing that we actually had an extra hour to get to our seats would have been useful.

Going into it, with the show starting at 8ish, it was already a late night for the 11-year-old.  And they started the show with a hilarious (and according to Dillon, inappropriate for kids) set by Dave Foley.  It was great, but I feel like a number of people in the audience were there more for him than for Radio Lab, most of the questions were about him during the Q&A at the end of the show…  but the overall show was really wonderful.  If you get an opportunity to attend, you probably should.  It is just like the radio show/podcast, only with a visual dimension which at least in this case, really added a lot to the experience.  I am not even going to try to describe it because I know I won’t do it justice.

The local NPR affiliate had a fundraiser and sold tickets to an after party, which I heard about and asked D if he wanted to attend.  He did, and he put a lot of thought into what he was going to say when he met the hosts of Radio Lab, Jad and Robert.  He was really funny about that, how much he considered it and kind of worried about it in a way…  and when he did have the opportunity to talk with them, he got a little tongue-tied and shy.  But he said something to them and we got a picture with them, though I wasn’t really close enough to hear what happened.  He had a favorite show all ready to ask them about, and a ton of questions, but it was really noisy and crowded and I think he used up all of his assertiveness just figuring out how to get in line and speak to them.

After he got to talk to them, he didn’t want to stay at the after party to talk to any of the other performers (though I tried to get him to talk to the dancers from the really excellent dance troupe that performed in the show since that is another of his interests).  He wanted to go home.  It was after 10:30pm and he was clearly beat.  On our way out, we ran into Thao Nguyen in the hallway, and D was fabulous.  She’s a really lovely singer/songwriter who played the music for the show, and Dillon was adorable, telling her in his genuine little-kid way how much he loved her parts of the show.

Overall, it was a memorable evening and we all had a great time.

Books, books, books


This was going to be my year of reading for pleasure, since I finished my master’s degree (and three long years of pretty much only reading textbooks and long dry articles), and I have been pretty successful with that so far.  I am over 100 books in since January 1 (you can check my goodreads if you want to verify…) and I have read a lot of great books this year.  Unfortunately, my other goal for this year was to catch up on some TV shows that everyone has told me I needed to watch for the past few/five years, and so I was going to watch Lost on Netflix, but am stalled mid-season 2.  I really like it, but it turns out all this reading has taken up a lot of my otherwise free time, and I generally pick a book over vegging out or whatever.  Anyway, the other day I was talking to someone about a book (it might have been The Golden Compass, which I love) and I said, “don’t judge a book by its movie.”  I thought I made this up, but then I Googled it and it is a thing.

But so is this: Hank Green‘s project called Read it First.  Gotta love it.  Thought I’d share:

Cover Band


First, a picture of the family band Charles created.  They look pretty good to me, though it is funny to imagine what the kids will look like as adults (or like, CGI representations of adults):

The family band

The family band

(That was before Charles and I played until 1am last night/this morning and won 7 million more fans and a tour bus.)  Anyway…

The unintended (though not entirely unanticipated) consequence of playing RockBand3 with the kids is the new musical vocabulary they are picking up.  I say that it wasn’t entirely unanticipated because, at first, I just bought Beatles Rockband because it did occur to me that the kids would be singing the songs around the house and wouldn’t it be nice to hear Beatles songs.  And then it turned out that the only song the kids were particularly good at singing was Yellow Submarine, which I was always lukewarm about to begin with, and having it on repeat via the kiddos was not really improving my attitude towards that particular submarine.

And, Charles really wanted RockBand 3.  And Nic started a rumor that you could download Buffy the Vampire Slayer singing “Walk Through the Fire” on it, and I didn’t check the veracity of that rumor, and I bought the game.  (So far I think Nic is full of it, but if you know differently please advise.)  Obviously, I like it a lot.  It is an incredibly fun video game to me.  There are very few video games that I really, really want to play well, and this is one of them.  And the whole family loves music, and this is a fun thing to do together* (we do need another controller, though, because really only three of us can play at any one time right now).

But it still cracked me up completely today when all of a sudden, out of the blue, Rose belts out, “I like Rock And Roll!” and Dillon fills in the “so put another dime in the jukebox, baby…”

Apparently, Rose isn’t entirely sure how she feels about rock and roll yet.  She’s going to take her time and get to know it before rushing into anything.  Maybe go out for coffee…  nothing serious.

But there are way worse things they could like than Joan Jett.  For instance, it turns out Dillon is a fan of power ballads.  I guess I asked for it…