Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Invention #2: Short Pants

You know how boys used to wear short pants and then graduated to long pants when they were fully grown? Why can't we do the same thing with baby clothes? How about pants with snaps down the sides- they start out with a cuff folded up several times and the snaps hold the cuffs up. As the legs get longer you take the snaps down a notch and get a longer leg. You could have some cool, patterned fabric lining the pants.

I haven't bought any baby clothes for Boyo yet because my mom is such a gifted second hand shopper. But if I did it would sure burn me if I bought something that he grew out of after wearing it only a couple of times.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Rhymesayer's Settin' to Bust Out of the Minneapple

MNSpeak has a nice round up of recent press coverage on Atmosphere. I'm so excited to go to the show tomorrow night. It caps off their tour and I hear there are a lot of special guests scheduled to celebrate their return home.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Invention #1: Sensory Gloves

On occasion I get crazy invention ideas so I am going to start adding them here. The latest is a 'Sensory Glove'. This would allow workers to have hand protection but not sacrifice touch sensitivity. For example, if you are working with dangerous chemicals but still need to feel small computer parts on an assembly line or for surgeons or if you are digging through rubble and need to feel where the glass pieces are.

The fingertips and palm area would be covered with pinhead sized sensors. The inside of the glove would have and array of microscopic 'wires' that would transmit the outside sensor signals to the skin of the user. That way the user could remotely feel what is on the other side of the glove.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Coco Verde

Friday, November 04, 2005

Mango Salsa

My new favorite recipe is for Mango Salsa:

1 mango cut into small cubes
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
hot sauce to taste- I use 1/2 tsp Marie Sharp's carrot hot sauce


Tuesday, November 01, 2005


I love the idea of Kiva! This site allows you to make microloans to African businesses. It is amazing how a small investment in American terms can make such a huge difference for someone's quality of life in the developing world. See also the picture of the Hippo Roller. I can't imagine how much work it is to go fetch the water you need from miles away every day. Go Boing Boing for publicizing these great ideas.

Fire, Stilts and Large Puppets

It is not ALL on the Internet but I'm trying to add more. Every year Barebones Productions puts on a Halloween production at a local park. Every year I start searching online for which park it will be at and have trouble finding out. I suppose I am not hooked in enough with the puppet subculture in the cities to hear about it word of mouth like I'm supposed to. In any case I got the info on the 2005 production, "Foretold" and trekked off on a cold Halloween evening to watch a giant puppet show in the dark.

It was a story of a village of the dead who hid in their houses because they were afraid of moving on to the next world. It had all the elements that make the Barebones Halloween show so memorable- huge puppets, fire, people on stilts. . .

The best puppet was a 10 foot tall T-rex skeleton that moved incredibly fluidly. The best moment was walking from the first stage will hundreds of people carrying canterns (lanterns made out of cans with holes punched in the side) to the finale at the river. Then there were fire-twirlers and rafts rowing up to take the village of the dead to the other world.

After the show a huge barge came up the river and eerily lit the fog swirling off the surface. I'm sure the bargemen were a bit baffled at the crowd of hundreds of people waving at them from the bank at 9pm.

Favorite quote of the evening from my friend C: "T is learning fire-twirling. Maybe she can be in the show next year. Maybe not- she might not fit in with those fire-twirlers who wear leather, ride unicycles and kick ass."

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I Wish I Were Cool/Geeky Enough to Knit

There are so many awesome knitting projects popping up out there that I really wish I had the crafting chops to tackle. In addition to the knit robots I mentioned in an earlier post there's Baby's First DNA Model (pictured, via daddytypes), Bike Helmet Ear Warmers in the first edition of MenKnit Magazine, and Crocheting Hyperbolic Space on Make's new craft blog.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


We just made reservations to go to NYC for a friend's wedding. It should be interesting travelling with a 9 month old. I'm hoping that Boyo will stay true to the personality he's developing and be MORE entertained when we're out of the house and LESS fussy when there is a lot going on.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

LCD Soundsystem

Was it a rock show? Was it a dance show? I kept going back and forth while watching LCD Soundsystem last night. I expected a much larger crowd since this band was one that really grabbed me this year. Electronic music is just not as big here as your straight-out indie rock.

My friend H said that James Murphy used his voice like an instrument and I have to agree. It must take an enormous amount of effort to sing with that much energy for that long. They put on a good show.

H is also a new mom and has not been to many concerts recently. There is something wonderful about really loud speakers.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Culture Industry

On the heels of my DIY thoughts my friend in cultural studies was telling me about the theories of Theodor Adorno. I love how theory.org.uk has a discussion about how "capitalism fed people with the products of a 'culture industry' - the opposite of 'true' art - to keep them passively satisfied and politically apathetic" and yet has this cheeky GIF on their page (check the site if the GIF isn't displaying the little lip curl correctly):

Monday, October 17, 2005

I Heart DIY

I love to see people making their own entertainment and operating outside the "You must buy this to be happy" mindset. Here are a couple of examples to inspire you.

Konono No 1

These virtuosos of Congolese thumb piano make an incredibly energetic sea of music with the sparest of resources. Check out the microphone carved out of wood in this picture:

Knit Robots

These sweet homemade robots give me a warm feeling like "Yes, I could create my own friend." These were featured as part of Make's new craft blog where you can find other great projects such as crocheting hyperbolic space and knit zombies.

Friday, October 14, 2005


Defective Yeti is just one of the blogs I read with smart, funny writers who have interesting perspectives on children and the world at large. For three days this week my husband asked me "Did you read Defective Yeti yet?" and I hadn't. Finally he sat me down and told me to read the most recent posting. It was about the recent discovery that their boy has "Autistic spectrum disorder" and the impact of this. The remarkable part is that even as he writes very personally he still manages to make it chock full of links to useful resources. They are the kind of parents we aspire to be- caring, thorough and balanced.

We know about the fear that grips you when something's wrong with your child. When Boyo was a month old the pediatrician heard a heart murmur. It turns out that he had patent ductus arteriosus , a condition where a duct that circulates fetal blood to the placenta doesn't close correctly after birth. Blood than recirculates between the lungs and the heart and the inefficient pumping causes the heart to work too hard.

After hoping that it would close on it's own he eventually had to have surgery to tie it off at three months. This was incredibly nervewracking but we felt very lucky that this would fix his condition, that it was a very routine operation for the surgeons (not open-heart surgery) and that we had health insurance.

Boyo is fine now but are constantly amazed by the new territory of parenthood. The nurse at the birth did tell me "This is not the most difficult thing you will do for your child."

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Banish the Idealization of the Past

I'm subscribed to Rob Brezsny's email horoscopes and look forward to his nuggets of inspiration each week. Here is a passage that I find especially motivating:
"The rise of modernity served many extraordinary purposes: the rise of democracy; the banishing of slavery; the emergence of liberal feminism; the differentiation of art and science and morality; the widespread emergence of empirical sciences; an increase in average life span of almost three decades; the introduction of relativity and perspectivism in art and morals and science; the move from ethnocentric to world-centric morality; and the undoing of dominator social hierarchies."
—Ken Wilber, *A Brief History of Everything*
I find it very frustrating when people refer to times in the past as if they were an ideal time to live. In addition to all the advances listed above, life in the developed nations is just EASIER. It doesn't take a day to do the laundry and food preparation. We have a tremendous amount of leisure time. We are lucky. This isn't to say that there aren't serious inequality problems that we need to address or that we haven't given up a connection to nature. We now have time to be depressed rather that being forced to struggle on a day to day basis just to survive.

Once we start recognizing what we've done right we can start trying to spread those things to the rest of the world and start to fix what we've broken along the way.

Friday, October 07, 2005

'Silent Birth' Suggestion Makes Me Want to Scream

Yikes! I can't quite imagine this:


Scientology couple JOHN TRAVOLTA and KELLY PRESTON are urging KATIE HOLMES to have a 'silent birth' when she delivers fiance TOM CRUISE's baby next year (06) and follow the church's strict doctrines.

Scientologists believe children should be brought into the world without any fuss and be allowed to quietly get used to their surroundings. That means no music, no chatting and no expressions of pain from the mother.

Preston explains, "It's just because everything in moments of pain is really recorded and you want to have that (the birth) peaceful and clear of sort of suggestions or different words that can then affect them (babies) in their future."

It's especially vexing to me given that vocal toning was incredibly helpful for pain relief. I thought it sounded new-agey and ineffective too- until I tried it. This whole attitude of telling someone how they SHOULD give birth is cruisazy. I mean, you don't really know what will work until you are in the midst of trying to get through one of the difficult experiences of your life. To try to hold yourself to some higher moral ground while you're doing it just adds more stress.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Friday, September 30, 2005


I went to go see Architecture in Helsinki last night. A great show. 8 people and a ton of instruments packed on the small 7th St Entry stage. Their website is supercool. It's all in Flash so I couldn't steal any pix to post here. We'll see how well I survive at work today after staying up til 1:30 am. So far it's worth it.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Birth Story

I have been meaning to write Boyo's birth story for some time. Seven months later I am sure I have forgotten some of the details. Last night I had a horrible episode of heartburn, the same kind that sent me to the emergency room a couple weeks after Boyo was born because the intense, all-consuming pain radiating from the center of my chest. Many tests were run before they diagnosed it as gastrointestinal. It reminded me of the pain of childbirth that blocks out absolutely everything else and seems like a small miracle when it subsides.

There is a beautifully written birth story over at the Leery Polyp. It helped me tremendously to read about birth beforehand but you just don't know what it will be like. Once I was in the thick of it the one thing that helped most with the pain, vocal toning, was something that I never thought I would use. I love how this essay conveys that no matter how much you think you know there are things you will experience that you just can't describe. She also does a good job of portraying how you have to surrender yourself to the process in order to move through it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Let's Go Rock & Roll Radio

There is a lot of great stuff to listen to on the NPR site these days. Not only can you search for stories- you can also find out what filler music they used. I am listening to a stream of the Shins opening for the White Stripes right now. I will probably go to This American Life's site next to listen to the episode I missed this weekend. They have also had some great stories about Katrina in the last few weeks.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Boy and His Dog

Here is Boyo with his dog Voltron and new cousin Riese.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Ween & Euchre

Over the years my husband and I have shared our passions with each other and molded each others tastes so that there are many things that we both love. He has picked up my love of hip hop and the habit of picking a movie by the director and I now enjoy motorcycle related things such as world trials competitions and drinking coffee through a straw. There are, however, many passions that we still do not share. I doubt that Motopop will ever get a thrill at seeing marshall arts on the big screen with english subtitles and I will never want to race motorcycles as a hobby.

One of my great joys before meeting my husband was playing cards. Now I rarely get a chance to play and when we try to play together he acuses me of making up rules. So as I wake up today I am still buzzing from the excitement of last night's party where I learned how to play euchre.

Motopop & I set out to dinner at 9 with babe in tow and met a group of friends at a thai restaurant. We had a great time celebrating the birthday of our friend visiting from Amsterdam as Boyo slept at the corner of the table in his blanket-covered car seat. Leaving the restaurant at midnight you would think that we would be happy as new parents to have successfully accomplished the feat of going out with the baby but we are ones to test the limits. (I am a bit nervous about this trait appearing in Boyo.)

So we followed to crew to our friends' place and had a few more glasses of wine and Motopop continued to wax poetic about Moto GP since he had european audience who actually knew who Valentino Rossi was. We were ready to bail as soon as Boyo turned into a pumpkin but after eating he just looked around wide-eyed and we stayed.

Then came the magical point where Ween was put on the stereo and 4 of the 10 of us sat down to play euchre (at a Ligne Roset table to give you a sense of the coolness of our friends' place). The forces of the universe are somehow alligned- our baby is content to be out after midnight, Motopop is talking about his favorite subject, we are in beautiful mid-century modern space, we are listening to one of my favorite bands, our friends that drink sometimes makes unpleasant are smiling, and I am playing cards.

Now if only I could get him to appreciate the oeuvre of Joss Whedon. . .

Thursday, September 22, 2005


The things one finds wandering in a landscape: familiar things and utterly unknown, like a flower one has never seen before, or, as Columbus discovered, an inexplicable continent;
and then, behind a hill, as if knitted by giant grandmothers, lies this vast rabbit, to make you feel as small as a daisy.
The toilet-paper-pink creature lies on its back: a rabbit-mountain like Gulliver in Lilliput. Happy you feel as you climb up along its ears, almost falling into its cavernous mouth, to the belly-summit and look out over the pink woolen landscape of the rabbitís body, a country dropped from the sky;
ears and limbs sneaking into the distance; from its side flowing heart, liver and
Happily in love you step down the decaying corpse, through the wound, now small like a maggot, over woolen kidney and bowel.
Happy you leave like the larva that gets its wings from an innocent carcass at the roadside.
Such is the happiness which made this rabbit.
i love the rabbit the rabbit loves me.

This is the poetic press release for this giant rabbit sculpture by the gelatin art collective.

Monday, September 19, 2005


Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Check out Flying Spaghetti Monster related parenting resources (including the pirate-themed coloring book page shown) here and here. (via daddytypes)

Previous post on FSM and pirates here.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Answer the Question

This post from Merlin's List of Five Things seems to sum up the difficulty of getting meaningful information out of a Supreme Court nominee:

Five things I’d ask every Supreme Court nominee if I sat on the Senate Judiciary Committee

  1. If you knew to an absolute moral certainty that you could capture and consume a live infant without being caught, how many do you suppose you could eat in a weekend?
  2. Have you ever been spanked erotically by someone who was not your current legal spouse? Just yes or no, please.
  3. Nominee, do you regard these slacks as accentuating my basket in an un-senatorial fashion?
  4. Describe in single words, only the good things that come into your mind about…your mother.
  5. Kindly rise, and sing the 1979 hit, The Piña Colada Song, also known as Escape

For more commentary about what the Roberts won't answer check out How to Stonewall the U.S. Senate at Majikthise

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Journey

I attended a 'walking play' this weekend called The Buddha Prince. It was about the Dalai Lama's journey from a child of three picked to head the nation of Tibet to a leader in exile escaped from the Communist takeover of Tibet.

Other children's journeys to reflect on:

The children who are displaced by Katrina and what impact it will have on them. Here's a link about the premature babies and other efforts to help these children at A Little Pregnant

My Life in Orange: Growing up With the Guru
This book is about Tim Guest's childhood in the cult of notorious Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

Running With Scissors
Augusten Burroughs memoir about being given away by his mother to be raised by a lunatic psychiatrist

The Tender Bar: A Memoir
A story about the impact of the men of the neighborhood bar on J.R. Moehringer

Of these I've only read Running With Scissors, a hilarious book but you need a strong stomach to get through it.

Rediscover Vinyl Lust

Motopop got me a good turntable for my birthday! It sounds awesome and we've been playing records from my collection that I haven't heard in years.

It's a Pro-Ject which I guess to audiophiles means something but I had never heard of. All I know is that I get to listen to my hundreds of records without fear of damaging them (my old player had issues).

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Failure at This Level Requires Sustained Effort

From The Uses of Disaster at Harpers

But the authorities don't usually fail so spectacularly. Failure at this level requires sustained effort. The deepening of the divide between the haves and have nots, the stripping away of social services, the defunding of the infrastructure, mean that this disaster—not of weather but of policy—has been more or less what was intended to happen, if not so starkly in plain sight.

This is one of many insightful Katrina links over at Bitch Ph.D.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Charity Starts at Home

As disappointed as I am by the stories of governement failure I am amazed by the generosity and caring of the average people. Here's a list of some of the poignant things I've seen in the past week:

The news coverage and government response are bringing the ugly side of race and class relations in the country to the surface. I hope that this will bring about some positive change as people hear stories from those who are usually ignored by the media.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


There have been so many things this week that have struck me that I have not written anything.
I am prone to write about random items of interest like the NYT article on carving Princess Kay of the Milky Way in a 90 pound block of butter. But mainly my week has been focused on thinking about New Orleans and the devastating events of Hurricane Katrina. Butter sculpture vs. heartbreaking loss, which should I talk about? The deprivation in NOLA, a city that I love and visited just last December, has put into sharp contrast the luxuries that we live with everyday. Let's just take the butter sculpture. What makes this possible that they don't have in New Orleans right now:
  • Electricity
  • Food
  • Buildings
And yet in the same country we are going about wasting hundreds of pounds of a luxury food item for amusement. Gotta love America.

At the same time I have been keenly interested in how technology is being used in this disaster. There is already a listing for Katarina in Wikipedia, Craig's list is turning into an amazing resource for people offering and looking for emergency housing (providing you can get computer access), and places like Google Earth Community and Google Earth Hacks are just two of the many places offering images of the damage.

I'll close out with a message from my friend from NOLA. I wish everyone the best.


Thanks so much for your thoughts and concerns. In
short, we raced the hurricane and made it out of New
Orleans before impact.

We’re lucky to be alive. It took us 26 hours of
straight driving and we eventually ended up in Austin
Texas, where we’ll stay for at least a week.

It appears as if flooding of roughly six feet affected
areas within a seven block radius of our apartment and
we don’t know if our building is still there, or if
the roof is still intact. Everything may be lost. We
probably won’t know for at least 2-3 weeks. We might
not be able to get back into the city for a couple of
months – who knows!

So, not sure what then plan is going to be. We may
head down to the boarder of Mexico and set up a tent
on the beach or we may go back in Wisconsin for a
month. All depends on incoming information.

Thanks so much for your thoughts. I’ll send out
another email when I know more info.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Iron & Wine & ...

This post from the Confabulators describing Iron & Wine's mythical partnerships with other Indie Rock bands is hilarious. Especially so since Iron & Wine is Motopop's FAVORITE new band and the bands on this list that I really like (Death From Above 1979, Arcade Fire,...) he does not care for much. I bet he'd love them if these collaborations were real.

My favorite part:
The addition of loud and mosh-worthy DFA1979 (the pit at Intonation was incredible) to Sam Beam’s sleepy jams would make music that you could simultaneously fall asleep and rock out to. Concertgoers would begin sleepmoshing, which would in turn lead to the classification of the group as a dangerous intoxicant.
Do you think the Houston teens sippin on that Syzurrp would be into it?

Monday, August 29, 2005


We went to a lackluster art event on the Stone Arch Bridge this weekend and got me thinking about what makes a good spectacle. The event promised 'follies' and other happenings over a 24 hour period but the best we saw was people dressed in historical garb riding Segways.

I have seen a lot of good spectacles in my life and I started thinking about all the bands that I've seen multiple times in different eras of my life- the kind of bands that if they are playing OF COURSE you will go see them. Some of these may not ring any bells but the names alone are very evocative. Here's a sampling:

High School
Urban Guerillas
The Wallets
Trip Shakespeare
The Replacements
Husker Du
Libido Boyz
Soul Asylum

Viscious Wally

College Part Deux/Mid-Twenties
God Bullies
The Cows
Jesus Lizard
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

The Soviettes
The Jayhawks
Sleater Kinney

There are plenty of other great bands that don't play as much or as memorably. These are a few that go beyond just playing the record and inspire an energy that makes the live show fun.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Parenting on a Stick

I LOVE the Minnesota State Fair. I took the day off yesterday and we went to opening day. We set off at 10:30 in the morning and figured we'd stay as long as Boyo was doing alright. I can't believe how well he did. We didn't leave until 8:45!

Highlights included:
  • Getting pictures of him in his John Deere snapsuit sitting on John Deere tractors
  • Hearing a dad tell his son "Oh honey, that's not where you go to SEE alligators; it's where you go to EAT alligators" about a 'Gator on a stick' booth
  • Seeing that a radio station had set up a 'Lactation Station'- a tented in area with chairs where you could nurse
  • Playing the State Fair Scavenger hunt that some friends put together where we tried to get photos of things like 'best ZZ Top beard' and 'most food items on a stick carried at once'
I didn't see some other highlights since I'd seen them in previous years:
  • Pet surgery- live spaying and neutering in the pet building
  • Largest hog
  • Robot wars
I was a little dissapointed with my food experience. You have to eat a lot at the fair but I had a hard time matching my food cravings with the food that was around me. I ate plenty anyway but it's much more satisfying when you think "Mmm, I'd really love some cheese on a stick now" and you turn around and see the cheese on a stick booth.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Punk Rock

We've been cleaning the house for a week to get ready for the in-laws to stay with us. Last night they arrived about 9 and we realized the baby and the in-laws would be asleep by ten and we could actually go out and see some music! We quickly perused the shows and decided on The Soviettes, The Marked Men, Birthday Suits, and Mut Era. We got there during Birthday Suits and bought earplugs at the bar first thing- we may like to rock but we're not stupid. This band put on the loudest show I've ever seen for just one drummer and one guitarist. We found out that they are two former members of Sweet JAP so that makes sense.

By the second band Motopop had had a mid-life conversion to punk rock. He was trying to convince me that we needed to start a punk rock band and with each drink he repeats things more so he repeated this A LOT. I don't know if we're supposed to start this band before or after we buy jetskis, buy an airplane, win the lottery, build a three-car garage, or make any of the many other motorized vehicle purchases he has planned. Somehow I think that if we are even in a position to contemplate buying a jetski we don't have much punk rock cred.

The Soviettes were their usual combination of haphazard and awesome and definately have punk rock cred. It's so great to be at a show where women are at least half of the front row. It was also great to have no one smoking since they just recently banned smoking in bars. We walked back to the car at 2am and got gyro/falaffel sandwiches along the way relishing the late hour.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Breastfeeding vs. Conception

On Friday I will have made it to my minimum breastfeeding goal- 6 months. We now have to decide how much longer I can go. Since breastfeeding inhibits conception and it took medical intervention to conceive Boyo what should we do at this point. We made an appointment at our fertility clinic and they prefer that breastfeeding be wrapped up 2 months before they start treatment! We're going to have to do some research here. I don't want to shortchange Boyo for a child we might not even be able to conceive but I will be very happy the day I can stop pumping at work.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Too Much?

After going through infertility treatments and reading about the experiences of many other mamas in waiting on their blogs Motopop and I are very sensitive about trying to conceive. We have been planning to go with a group of friends to a cabin this weekend. Yesterday Motopop asked me "Do you think we should check with someone about whether bringing Boyo will be too painful for Lolly and Bruce?" Our friends have been through 4 rounds of unsuccessful IVF treatments and though I knew they wouldn't tell us not to come I immediately realized we needed to ask. I just got an email back from Lolly saying how considerate we were. I know it would be painful for her whether there's a baby there or not but hopefully we can keep from stepping on toes!


I got home yesterday and Motopop had taken Boyo out. This was the first time I'd come home to house with no people in a long time. But I wasn't really alone because the pug and the two cats were there. What did I do with these valuable moments?- Started cleaning. Arggh. It is just so hard to keep up with all of the 'shoulds' now that we have a baby. I used to be able to say "I should take out the trash, I should do the laundry, I should clean the kitchen..." and have the consequences be a lot less severe if I chose to wait.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Baby Sign Language

Boyo is fast approaching 6 months, the time when we can start teaching him sign language. I am hoping that this lives up to the hype. Supposedly babies have the gross motor skills to use signs earlier than they have the fine motor skills necessary to talk. The theory is that the ability to communicate some basic concepts earlier reduces frustrations.

What I love about this is that it dovetails nicely with my general parenting philosophy: teach your child how to solve problems. The first problem-solving tool they have is crying so I try to teach Boyo that I am there to help him solve problems like hunger, discomfort, boredom, etc. But I try to give him the tools to solve his own problems as soon as I can. With this philosophy I try to pick through the theories that are out there and make up my own when necessary. Attachment Parenting is great until it starts interfering with a baby's ability to develop independence.

I also cultivate independence for selfish reasons. I love the book The Three-Martini Playdate. Motopop and I still want to live our lives and have the crazy idea that Boyo will be happier with parent that look out for their own happiness as well as his.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

You Can't Always Get What You Want

Overall I have been happy with my decision to come back to work. Motopop spends quality time taking care of Boyo during the day and sells real estate when he gets a chance. We don't have to worry about daycare yet. I'm a terrible housekeeper so I don't have to pressure myself to clean all day. Work makes me get up in the morning instead of sleeping late like I might (Yes, it's unfair. After I feed Boyo at 6:30 he goes BACK to sleep and Motopop gets to sleep til 9:00, 9:30, 10:00...)

And yet as Boyo grows and can do more things I am still wistful about missing those little moments. At least Motopop gets to see them.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

4 Parties

I think maybe we are crazy. We took Boyo to 4 parties this weekend. What is confusing to me is that he cries much less with lots of noise, commotion, new people and late hours than if he is just sitting at home on a normal day. Although most parents probably wouldn't attempt this, it seems to have worked out fine for us and I'd do it again. I suppose it will get worse as he gets older and is less portable.

The bars in Mpls have gone no smoking so all I need to maintain my rock n roll lifestyle now is an effective set of baby earplugs or a little decibel reader so I know when music is too loud for baby ears. I am sure that some of the outdoor concerts I have been to this year would fall outside the safe range.

I don't know why my parenting philosophy is so opposite of most people's. Most parents seem to think that they should not attempt to put their children in any environment they might not like. I prefer to do the things that I like- barring any obvious dangers to a 5 month old. If he likes it- great. If he doesn't he'll let me know and we will remove him from the environment/comfort him/etc. He doesn't seem to mind when I'm dancing with him to a Ramones song instead of a Raffi song and I think he will probably get a lot more out of a happy mom that an environment smoothed of all edges.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Time Wasters

Ack! I should be blocked from these sites. Hopefully they are both passing obsessions:

Web Suduko


Friday, July 22, 2005

Dream Laughs

Some of my favorite things:

  • Baby laughing in his sleep
  • Dog barking in his sleep
Boyo woke me up at 4:55 am. I fed him and put him back in his bassinet by the side of our bed. As I am drifting off to sleep I suddenly hear chuckling. I look at Boyo and he is chortling and smiling in his sleep. It just blows me away that in 5 short months he has gone from a being that could not even focus on what's around him or smile to a small boy who has his own internal world that can generate dreams that make him laugh.

Our pug dog, Voltron is also quite amusing. It cracks me up when he has dreams that inspire a muffled barking. Sometimes they even startle him awake and he'll jump up from sleeping to run to the door and bark at some imaginary intuder.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

I AM Evie Saltine

Since starting this blog I've been grappling with the issue of how anonymous to make it. I have created pseudonyms for my family but do I include pictures? Do I include pictures of the pets and the baby but not of the adults? Should I withhold or change details of a story? I don't have any illusion that I am completely unidentifiable to people who know me. I had a radio show on a public access station for 9 years so I am well aware of the creepy ownership that listeners can feel for you and fully expect there to be some freaks (not in a good way) reading this. They are hopefully outnumbered by the quiet masses that I hope to entertain briefly on their journey through the web.

Yesterday I got to take on a pseudonym in front of hundreds of people. We enjoyed a beautiful summer evening at movies and music in the park with some friends. My friend 'Evie Saltine' had to leave before the night was over and told me "If I win the $100 gift basket you can pretend you're me." She did win and I ran up as Evie Saltine and claimed my prize. I knew the guy that was DJing on stage but he just smirked and I picked up my gift basket and was photographed as Evie.

There are a couple of interesting commentaries on blogging over at Bitch Ph.D. Here's one on blogging anonymously and here's one about the nanny that made the mistake of telling her employer about her blog. Of course I am also thinking about Valerie Plume who's life was endangered by the evil Karl Rove's leak and the reporters pressed to reveal their anonymous sources in that case. Link to a primer on the scandel.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Quiz: Doll or Baby?

Can you tell which of the photos is of a child and which is of a doll?

The one on the left is Izzie, the February winner of a child pageant photo contest in the 0-18 months category! The one on the right is Charli, a doll sold on Ebay for $606.06. Charli is a product of reborning where great efforts are made to create a doll that looks exactly like a newborn while Izzie is a child whose photo has been retouched to match some bizarre glamour-shots-for-tots aesthetic.

Both are adult idealizations of childhood that create something unreal and monsterous. When I look at Boyo I am torn between trying to absorb as much 'baby' as I can because I know it goes so fast and being insanely curious about what he will grow into. It would be great if years from now I could come back and hold him as a baby for a few minutes. My sister once mentioned how cool it would be if you could look at a baby and imagine what they would be like as an adult the same way you can look at an adult and imagine what they were like as a baby. I guess this is what these age maps are trying to get at but they also end up looking creepy.

Thanks to BoingBoing for the pageant photography and age map info.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Baby Weight

I reached a milestone today. This morning the scale read the same as my pre-pregnancy weight. I hope I'm not jinxing this by writing about it but I am frankly amazed that it has been this easy. We are a week shy of Boyo being 5 months old and I thought it would take a lot longer. I have always struggled to stay on the upper edge of a 'normal' weight and took over a year to lose 15 pounds before I got pregnant. I'm still trying to make sense of the factors that have contributed to the weight coming off. Here are some contenders:
  • Breastfeeding: I've read this takes 500 calories a day
  • The Boyo is happiest in his stroller or being carried so we've done a lot of walking
  • Running: I starting running as soon as I could, not huge distances but I did make myself run a 5k a couple weeks ago
  • Walking and running have both been made easier by the Bob Revolution stroller- a total splurge but the front wheel locks for running and unlocks for easy maneuvering and it's our only stroller
  • Boyo does not like to sit. He likes to be in motion so I am more active now
  • I've become too cheap to go out to lunch at work so I'm eating healthier during the day
  • There is just so much to do. Motopop and I had been used to long stretches of couchsitting and tv watching but now things like laundry and cooking have to be shoved into the schedule somewhere which means more time on your feet
  • Prenatal yoga helped me stay in shape during pregnancy
I was worried that pregnancy would make me feel bad about my body but it has had the opposite effect. Before pregnancy being on the heavy end seemed like a personal failure. After pregnancy I had a REASON to be carrying extra weight and my body had accomplished the amazing task of growing an entire person. I felt good about my body even though my stomach was floppy and full of stretch marks.

Since I am still breastfeeding I am not dieting or making an effort to lose weight. I am looking at this period as a chance for my weight to reset itself to it's ideal level. This could be now or it could be ten to twenty pounds less. I would still be in the 'normal' weight range if I lost more but the Boyo's nutrition it the top priority now.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Summer Vacation

I spent the long weekend in beautiful northern Minnesota where trees grow directly out of rocks. Here is a picture courtesy of my cousin:

There are many things growing in my neighborhood as well. There are many beautiful boulevard gardens near my house and one has a very interesting plant. Amongst the weeds growing around a tree in the boulevard there is a marijuana plant. I check on it every time I walk by. I'm waiting to see if anyone notices.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

hipster ex machina

Nike stealing Minor Threat cover art (they have since apologized) is just further evidence that I am the 'Target Market' or at least that my Indie-Yuppie peers are firmly embedded in the corporate machine. What's a girl to do now that bands she likes are featured in car ads and television shows?

I came across this thread on what might happen if corporations raided more album cover art via Soviet Panda. Here are some of my favorites.

I especially like these ones because they sabotage the whole point of the original art. I mean, can you imagine "Good Morning, Captain" happening on a cruise ship? I suppose you'd find quiet desperation there somewhere but it's not what you'd want to promote.

Advertising is definately changing. I don't know if the advertisers are so postmodern that they cannot remove self-referential irony from their work or if everything has just been done before.

Advertising has become so desperate that local businesses have begun delving into slogans that have bizarre cultural references like "Nothing but happy endings" and "The proof is in the purple." Did these advertisers consciously pick phrases that refer to illicit massages and the Donner party?

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Is It Wrong to Quote Taxi Driver to Your Baby?

In looking over AFI's list of top 100 movie quotes I realized that one of the phrases I say to Boyo most often- "Are you talking to me? Are YOU talking to me?" is directly from Travis Bickle's mouth overlayed with my own motherly treacle.

Posted by Hello

Motopop and I have also adopted the seemingly benign "Shuggie" as a nickname for Boyo in his happy state. This also has dark roots- one of the many disturbing/wonderful segments of Wonder Showzen.

Posted by Hello

I am hoping that the Brothers Grimm and the composers of Ring Around the Rosie didn't damage children too much since I can't quite stop entertaining myself by embedding the adult material I am used to into baby talk.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Being Your Own DJ

The beauty of online music is that you can act as your own DJ and find the music that suits you best. The drawback is that there is so much out there that you need kindred spirits to point you in the right direction. Although we have some excellent radio stations here, most notably Radio K and the Current, I still find that the music I download is an excellent tool for figuring out what I want to buy and who I want to see when they come through town.

I have also found myself making mixed CDs for my friends when I am inspired by events in their life. In the spirit of sharing great music and composing an interesting mix CD I entered the Summer Soundtrack contest on Salon.com and I thought I would share it with you.

It was inspired by many of our great Minneapolis bands and the increasing quality of Canadian exports.

Hot Summer Music from Cold Places

1. Death From Above 1979 - Blood on Our Hands - You're a Woman, I'm a Machine
From Toronto

2. Sahara Hotnights- Alright Alright (Here's my Fist Where's the Fight?) - Jennie Bomb
From Sweden

3. Arcade Fire - Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) - Funeral
From Montreal

4. Walker Kong - Battleship of Thieves - There Goes the Sun
From Minneapolis

5. Hot Hot Heat - Goodnight Goodnight - Elevator
From Vancouver

5. Metric - Combat Baby - Old World Underground, Where Are You Now
Originally from Canada

6. The Soviettes - #1 Is Number Two - LP II
From Minneapolis

7. Stars - Ageless Beauty - Set Yourself On Fire
From Canada

8. Atmosphere - Trying To Find A Balance - Seven's Travels
From Minneapolis

9. Dosh - Naoise - Naoise
From Minneapolis

10. Valet - Tony Harnes & Johnny Ave VS. Elvis Presley - Life on the Installment Plan
From Minneapolis

11. Pony Up! - Shut Up and Kiss Me - S/T
From Montreal

Friday, June 24, 2005

Cage Match: Tom Cruise vs. Kansas City School Board

Now that I'm a spiritual person following FSM teachings, other religions are starting to look a little strange. I woke up to Tom Cruise on the Today Show and listened to a bizarre debate between him and Matt Lauer over whether Ritalin works for anyone at all. I am so glad that Tom Cruise has such in depth knowledge of the biochemistry of the human brain. That E-Meter must be a lot more enlightening than the 8 years of intensive medical training that those psychiatrists go through.

Learn more about the Secrets of Scientology and how to audit an aphid using an E-Meter. Since the E-Meter is "about the only electronic gadget that is also an official religious artifact" Gizmodo had created the one and only edition of Religious Gadget Thursdays in its honor.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

I Knew Pirates Were Involved!

Finally a religion I can get down with. If I'd only known about the 10 million underground worshipers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster earlier! We definately want the Kansas City School Board to require the FSM creation story be taught along with Intelligent Design and Evolution:

Open Letter to the Kansas City School Board

I think Motopop is converted as well since this religion contains so many of his favorite things: a midget, pirates, spaghetti. . . Maybe he will even get a chance to be Pope since the Catholic Church completely snubbed him in the last round.

I especially like this chart that explains how global warming has increased as the number of pirates have declined:

Arrgh, it's hot out here! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Liquid and Love

Happy Summer Solstice!

Drove into work along the mighty Mississippi swollen with the rainwaters from greenskied storms. The sun was celebrating the longest day of the year and Sleater Kinney was playing on the stereo. I thought about this quote from the blog section of their website:

It was the heat we always try to get to, the hot core where everything disintegrates into liquid and love and then when it's over it's like the whole structure has been reshaped and it's hard to remember what it looked like before.

I thought this type of transformative punk rock was in the realm of teenagers but it also fits with being a new mom. I feel reshaped and I am forgetting what a world without Boyo was like.

Friday, June 17, 2005

You Gotta Love a Good Manifesto

I have wished to have a manifesto of my own ever since an acquaintance grew a Grizzly Adams beard, dropped off the grid, and spent a year writing his manifesto. Unfortunately people like Stalin and the Unibomber have given manifestos a bad name.

Maybe topics like crafts and urban renewal will bring the manifesto back into vogue:

Craft Manifesto

Heavy Trash Manifesto

New Records

I bought three new records yesterday:

The Soviettes- LP II
The Decemberists- Picaresque
Sleater Kinney- The Woods

Sleater Kinney was in town this week. Just one of several great shows I did not attend. Also missed Spoon and Stephen Malkmus. So many other things distracting me from the Rock and Roll Lifestyle- friends from out of town, 4 month old baby... I guess I can't complain because those are wonderful things to be distracted by and I can still buy the records.

Chookooloonks: The Shop

Check out Chookooloonks' new shop. You can get beautiful photos of Trinidad on stuff and the proceeds go to support increasing adoptions from the foster care system.

Chookooloonks: The Shop

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Prison Rodeo

I knew as soon as I started this blog I would find something incredibly bizarre to share with all of my phantom readers. It looks as if Louisiana is on the cutting edge of prison marketing with their Angola Prison Rodeo. I found this on Sprol, a planetary sightseeing blog of some of the worst places in the world. They also have some excellent commentary on the harsh conditions that contrast with this popular event that takes place in a 10,000 seat stadium each Sunday in October.

I guess if we're going to keep filling up prisons instead of finding ways to integrate people back into society all prisons are going to have to turn into entertainment complexes to get by.

The Pump House

I am starting this blog so that I can share all the web detritus I run into while I am pumping to feed my baby boy. Here is a picture of how I feel three times a day:

The pump station Posted by Hello