Tuesday, November 15, 2005
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
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
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.
Friday, November 04, 2005
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
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
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Thursday, October 20, 2005
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
Monday, October 17, 2005
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:
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
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
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.ALMOST MORE GOOD LUCK THAN YOU CAN BEAR
"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*
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
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
Thursday, September 29, 2005
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
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Sunday, September 25, 2005
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
Friday, September 16, 2005
- 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?
- Have you ever been spanked erotically by someone who was not your current legal spouse? Just yes or no, please.
- Nominee, do you regard these slacks as accentuating my basket in an un-senatorial fashion?
- Describe in single words, only the good things that come into your mind about…your mother.
- 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
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.
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
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
- "The real heroes and sheroes of the hurricane relief effort: the working class of New Orleans" from Bitch Ph.D.
- The Regrowth Charity T-shirt at Threadless
- The heartbreaking items posted in the War Room at Salon as well as their other articles
- The smart commentary over at the 15-minute hipster
- My hair salon doing a Cut-a-thon for hurricane relief
- Posts like Serbian native Jasmina Tesanovic's essay on her visit to the Austin Convention Center at Boing Boing
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:
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.
STILL ALIVE IN 2005!!
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
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
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:
College Part Deux/Mid-Twenties
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
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
- 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'
- Pet surgery- live spaying and neutering in the pet building
- Largest hog
- Robot wars
Sunday, August 21, 2005
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
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Friday, August 05, 2005
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
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
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
Friday, July 22, 2005
- Baby laughing in his sleep
- Dog barking in his sleep
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
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
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
- 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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
2. Sahara Hotnights- Alright Alright (Here's my Fist Where's the Fight?) - Jennie Bomb
3. Arcade Fire - Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) - Funeral
4. Walker Kong - Battleship of Thieves - There Goes the Sun
5. Hot Hot Heat - Goodnight Goodnight - Elevator
5. Metric - Combat Baby - Old World Underground, Where Are You Now
Originally from Canada
6. The Soviettes - #1 Is Number Two - LP II
7. Stars - Ageless Beauty - Set Yourself On Fire
8. Atmosphere - Trying To Find A Balance - Seven's Travels
9. Dosh - Naoise - Naoise
10. Valet - Tony Harnes & Johnny Ave VS. Elvis Presley - Life on the Installment Plan
11. Pony Up! - Shut Up and Kiss Me - S/T
Friday, June 24, 2005
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
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!
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
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
Maybe topics like crafts and urban renewal will bring the manifesto back into vogue:
Heavy Trash Manifesto
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.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
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.